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Asia300

Philippines' largest lender logs record profit in 2014

MANILA -- BDO Unibank, the Philippines' largest lender by assets, on Thursday said its net income reached a record 22.8 billion pesos ($519 million) last year.

     The 2014 profit represents an 18% increase from the bank's recurring earnings in 2013, which exclude one-off gains.

     BDO said its customer loan portfolio went up 20% to 1.1 trillion pesos, while total deposits climbed 11% to 1.5 trillion pesos, fueled by a 24% improvement in current and savings accounts.

     This led to net interest income growing 19% to 51.2 billion pesos. Meanwhile, the bank's gross nonperforming loan ratio fell to 1.3% from 1.6% in 2013.

     BDO is a unit of SM Investments, the holding company of the Philippines' richest man, Henry Sy. BDO managed to become the nation's top lender largely through a slew of acquisitions in recent years.

     Despite the lure of Southeast Asian expansion, BDO President Nestor Tan last month told the Nikkei Asian Review that his bank will focus on deepening its penetration into the domestic market, where around 70% of the population lacks bank accounts.

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