Overall, the total assets of universal land commercial banks reached P12.301 trillion in 2016 based on data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
The BDO Universal Bank of the Henry Sy family maintained its position as the country’s biggest bank in terms of assets at it declared total assets of P2,198,231,000 (P2.19 trillion).
The Metropolitan Banking Corp. or Metro Bank is second biggest bank with assets of P1,552,519,000 (P1.552 trillion) followed by the Ayala Group’s Bank of Philippine Islands, reputed as the country’s oldest bank, with assets totalling P1,451,060,000 (P1.45 trillion).
A government bank, the Land Bank of the Philippines, emerged as the country’s biggest government bank and the fourth biggest in the country with assets totalling P1,395,355,000 (P1.39 trillion).
The Philippine National Bank, once the country’s premier government bank until it was sold to Lucio Tan group, is the fifth biggest bank with assets of P755,285,000, followed by the Zamora family’s Security Banking Corp. with assets of P695,641,000.
Also in the top ten are China Banking Corp., the government’s Development Bank of the Philippines and the Union Bank of the Aboitiz group.
Escucha noted there seems to be enough funds in the Philippine financial system to finance the government’s ambitious infrastructure development plan.
“I think if you look at the yearly budget, Secretary Diokno would not allocate such amount ‘pag wala namang funds,” he said.
Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin M. Diokno has revealed that the Duterte administration plans to spend as much as 7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on infrastructure development the later part of its term, or P8.2 trillion over the next six years..Meanwhile, the BDO Unibank has posted a P28 billion profit guidance for 2017, up from its record-high P26.1 billion net income in 2016.
Nelson Tan, BDO president and chief executive officer (CEO), said loans and deposits, among others, will continue to help the bank achieve its income target.
In the first quarter of this year alone, the bank reported a 6 percent year-on-year rise in net income to P5.8 billion, boosted by net interest income, which rose 19 percent, and loans that went up 21 percent.
Net interest income in the first three months of the year amounted to P18.4 billion while loans reached P1.5 trillion.
Total deposits increased by 13 percent to P1.9 trillion, due mainly to the 17 percent expansion of low-cost deposits.
Tan said BDO officials remain optimistic of the continued robust performance this year, partly because of the government’s bid to strengthen infrastructure investment.
“We’re still positive on the local economy. The President’s (Rodrigo Duterte) emphasis on infrastructure spending is actually positive because not only will it create economic activity from expenditure but it will also have a multiplier effect because it will create jobs, jobs create consumption, consumption helps businesses, and businesses create jobs,” he said.
Tan also sees a rise in foreign direct investments to the Philippines, which he pointed out is “a result of the diplomatic effort of the government”.
“And as we speak, we already see a lot of investments from the Japanese and the Chinese,” he said.
The BDO chief said the domestic economy is also seen to benefit from the firming up of the US economy “in a big way”.
He however pointed out that risks remain and these include higher interest rates, weaker peso, uncertainty on the path of the proposed tax reform program, impact of the Trump policies, and geo-political concerns overseas.
He noted that there are doubts that the proposed tax reforms would not be approved in its original form and only the tax breaks will be okayed by lawmakers.
“Of course that’s a risk but we don’t think that that will happen,” he said.
Tan however pointed out that “against that backdrop, we expect sustained expansion on loans and deposits”.
“We think that the infrastructure projects will provide a huge upside, that’s why we’re all hoping that they come out on time,” he said.
BDO, he added, will focus on expanding its presence in the Visayas and Mindanao as against operations overseas vis-a-vis the ASEAN integration since the latter needs scale and size.
“If we do go overseas in the ASEAN, it will be a function of whether there is opportunity and where we can have a competitive advantage,” Tan said.
Asked whether BDO wants to be considered as among the country’s select Qualified ASEAN Banks (QABs), Tan said, “Definitely, because we want to be a bank that meets ASEAN standards… But at the moment, we are very focused on the local market.” (PhilAmPress)