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Philippine banks' bad loans swell far faster than ASEAN peers'

Southeast Asian lenders face worsening asset quality and profitability on COVID

Philippine peso bills are seen at a money changer in Manila. Among 16 major banks in Southeast Asia, the fastest increase in nonperforming loans was recorded at Philippine banks.   © Reuters

MANILA/SINGAPORE/BANGKOK -- Nonperforming loans at Southeast Asian banks ballooned last year as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region's vulnerable small and mid-size businesses as well as individuals.

Nikkei Asia has compiled the 2020 earnings of 16 big listed commercial banks in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Their combined net profit for the year was $19.4 billion, down 34% from 2019 and their worst collective result since 2011. Their total nonperforming loans (NPLs) rose 17% to $39.6 billion, the highest in at least a decade.

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