LandBank lending up 16 percent

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State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said on Monday that its loan portfolio increased by 16 percent in the first nine months of the year.

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In a statement, Gilda Pico, LandBank president and chief executive officer, said that the bank’s loan portfolio reached P280 billion in January to September 2013, up by 16 percent from P241.9 billion a year ago.

“The consistent growth in our loan portfolio, particularly our loans to our priority sectors, is solid testament of LandBank’s aggressive support to the government’s thrust toward inclusive growth, and our relentless commitment to nurture progress in the rural areas,” Pico said.

Loans to its priority sectors—comprised of small farmers and fisher folk, microenterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), agri-aqua-related projects of local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), socialized to medium-cost housing, and utilities, expanded to P221.7 billion, which represents 79.2 percent of the LandBank’s total loan portfolio.

As of end-September 2013, outstanding loans to small farmers and fisher folk reached P29.6 billion, 15 percent higher than the P25.7 billion last year. From January to September, loan releases to small farmers and fisher folk amounted to P29.8 billion, benefiting 542,886 small farmers and fisher folk nationwide.

Regions with the highest loan releases to small farmers and fisher folk are Central Luzon with P6.8 billion, Central Visayas with P4.4 billion followed by Cagayan Valley, Southern Mindanao and Northern Mindanao with P3.9 billion, P2.7 billion and P2.6 billion, respectively.

Loans to micro enterprises and SMEs also grew by a hefty 21 percent from P28.7 billion to P34.6 billion in September 2013, while loans to socialized, low-cost and medium-cost housing reached P22.9 billion.

Meanwhile, loans to agri-aqua-related projects of LGUs and GOCCs reached P45.2 billion. LandBank has also been aggressive in extending credit to the utilities sector, with loans amounting to P35.7 billion.

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