Bank assets reach record P17.2 trillion in 2018
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Assets of Philippine banks booked a double-digit growth of 11.1 percent to hit a record high of P17.24 trillion last year from P15.52 trillion in 2017, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the expansion could be attributed mainly to deposit growth.

“Most of these deposits were deployed to lending for productive activities. Loan quality remains satisfactory as banks continue to adhere to sound credit underwriting standards,” Espenilla said.

Latest data showed credit growth stood at 15.6 percent as loan disbursements reached P8.33 trillion in end December from P7.2 trillion in end-December 2017.

Loans released for production activities booked a slower increase of 15.8 percent to P7.39 trillion from P6.39 trillion and accounted for 88.8 percent of the total loan disbursements in end-December.

The growth in lending to the real estate sector eased further to 11.1 percent to P1.44 trillion for a 16.8 percent share followed by the wholesale and retail trade as well as repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles that also slowed down to 15.2 percent to P1.16 trillion for a 13.9 percent share.

On the other hand, disbursements to manufacturing companies grew slower at 13.1 percent to P1.07 trillion, accounting for 12.8 percent of the total loans, while the amount disbursed to the electricity, gas, steam and airconditioning supply accelerated to 12 percent to P929.7 billion for an 11.2 percent share.

Likewise, the increase in loans for household consumption eased slightly to 13.5 percent in December from 13.8 percent in November as releases reached P657.36 billion from a year-ago level of P579.16 billion.

“The consistently sound and stable condition of the Philippine banking system – a product not only of prudent regulation and risk-based supervision, but of earnest cooperation from the sector itself – is a key anchor of our growing economy,” Espenilla said.

According to the BSP chief, capitalization continues to build up, with capital ratios remaining well above national and international thresholds.

Earnings of Philippine banks climbed by 6.4 percent to P178.83 billion last year from P168.07 billion in 2017 on the back of higher trading gains and interest income.

Profits of universal and commercial banks or big banks went up by 9.3 percent to P159.93 billion from P146.33 billion in 2017, while earnings of thrift banks or mid-sized banks slipped 11.7 percent to P15.83 billion from P17.94 billion.

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