Philippines' BDO Unibank targets 7.3% profit growth for 2017
Q1 net income rises 6%: CEO plans to bolster microfinance, life insurance
CLIFF VENZON, Nikkei staff writer
MANILA -- BDO Unibank, the Philippines' largest lender by assets, expects net profit to grow by 7.3% this year to 28 billion pesos ($562.7 million) driven by increased loans and deposits.
In the first quarter the bank's net income rose by 6% to 5.8 billion pesos after interest income jumped 19% to 18.4 billion pesos, BDO said in a statement.
Customer loans during the three-month period jumped 21% to 1.5 trillion pesos while total deposits increased by 13% to 1.9 trillion pesos. The bank's non-performing loans ratio stood unchanged at 1.3% at end-March.
BDO chief executive Nestor Tan said the bank planned to bolster its microfinance and life insurance businesses by opening more branches and hiring more insurance agents.
The bank in 2015 acquired One Network Bank, whose branches are mostly in the central and southern Philippine island of Mindanao. ONB will be used as a vehicle for micro-financing, Tan said. Last year, BDO took full control of Generali Pilipinas, previously a partnership with Italian insurer Generali.
"We believe the economy outside the National Capital Region will drive our growth in the future," Tan said, referring to the area beyond metropolitan Manila.
Tan said BDO will first grow its domestic footprint before expanding in Southeast Asia, at a time when the Philippine central bank is pursuing cross-border banking agreements with Malaysia and Thailand as part of a regional banking integration effort.
CAPTION: A woman withdraws cash from a BDO Unibank ATM in Makati city, Philippines. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco