• China Bank on track to meet 2015 income target

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    CHINA Banking Corp., the SM Group’s listed bank affiliate, said it is on track with income targets for the year on the back of an expanded network with the recent acquisition of Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank).

    At the sidelines of the Philippine International Banking Convention on Friday, Alexander C. Escucha, China Bank senior vice president, said the 10-percent growth target in net income for the year is achievable despite the delayed approval by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of the consolidation of Plantersbank into ChinaBank.

    “We were looking at 10 percent growth in net income this year,” Escucha said.

    In 2014, the bank posted P5.11 billion in net income from P5.10 billion a year earlier.

    The target of 50 branch openings this year was premised on the approval by the BSP of the merger in the first half, but the lower target of 30 branches is still achievable” by year end, Escucha noted.

    “The approval was just late. The merger happened in late August. We cannot roll out the branches immediately. But definitely [30 branches] is achievable,” he said.

    As of end-June, the bank registered a network of 485 branches including 321 from ChinaBank, 86 from China Bank Savings and 78 from Plantersbank which encompassed the seven ChinaBank and eight ChinaBank Savings that opened in the first six months of 2015.

    Earlier, CEO Ricardo R. Chua said ChinaBank’s loan portfolio will grow within the higher teens or 15 percent to 19 percent due to improvements in retail and consumer loans with Plantersbank in the picture.

    The bank has allotted P1.5 billion in capital expenditure for 2015. It currently serves the corporate, commercial, and retail markets.

    The fifth largest bank in terms of assets, China Bank saw its net income improved by 14 percent to P2.51 billion in the first six months of the year from P2.2 billion a year earlier.

    An affiliate of the Henry Sy-led SM Group, ChinaBank mainly caters to small and medium enterprises.

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