• EastWest Bank 2016 income surges 70%

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    EASTWEST Bank said it expects further improvement in its operations and better returns to investors after posting double-digit growth in its net income last year.

    In a statement on Friday, the bank said it registered a net income of P3.4 billion last year, 70 percent higher than the P2 billion booked in 2015.

    With this, EastWest said its total assets increased by 25 percent to P292 billion, led by a 51 percent increase in its consumer loan portfolio.

    Its core recurring income was up by 25 percent, while sustaining an industry-leading net interest margin of 7.7 percent.

    The bank said its net interest margin, net of provisions for loan losses, was at 4.9 percent, still the highest among universal and commercial banks.

    EastWest also said is the most consumer-focused universal bank in the country, with more than half its loan portfolio lent to consumers.

    Last year, it had targeted 50 percent earnings growth for 2016 as it expected to see the early result of its aggressive expansion program, which saw EastWest’s nationwide store network almost triple in five years to 445, including those of its rural bank subsidiary.

    Total loans grew by 29 percent to P202 billion, while total deposits went up by 30 percent to P240 billion, underpinned by a 38 percent increase in low-cost deposits.

    “As previously mentioned, 2016 will show the early results of our expansion program that started in 2012. This puts behind us the worst of the initial pain of the program that brought us to have the 7th largest store network but kept our income flat at P2.0 billion in the previous three years,” said EastWest President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio Moncupa Jr.

    The bank’s net revenues grew 34 percent to P22 billion, while operating expenses rose 21 percent to P12 billion.

    “Our productivity is improving as the overhead cost related to the expansion of the last three years gain traction.
    And that is just the start. We expect further improvement in operating leverage and subsequently, better returns to our investors in the coming years,” Moncupa added.

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