• Metrobank sees 20% loan growth this yr from infra boom

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    METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) said it expects its loan business this year to grow 20 percent in line with its performance last year as the infrastructure boom in the country will open up many areas of opportunities.

    “Infrastructure will be the main lever this year because when you talk about spending in infrastructure, it trickles down to various parts of the economy,” said Mary Mylene Caparas, Metrobank executive vice president and head of institutional banking.

    “When you say infrastructure, it is not just about building roads but you think about all other industries that get impacted positively — contractors buying equipment, cement, and hardware. It’s a cycle, so that’s what people are excited for,” she added.

    She said this factor is giving Metrobank optimism that it will hit another 20 percent growth in its loan business this year.

    Marc Bautista, Metrobank assistance vice president and research head, said the bank is very bullish on the infrastructure program of the government.

    The government targets to spend P847 billion on infrastructure this year on projects that will be undertaken simultaneously in all regions, including small-, medium- and large-scale ventures. In the six years to 2022, the government intends to spend a total of P8.4 trillion on infrastructure.

    “P1.8 trillion infrastructure spending over the last six years versus the P8.4 trillion in the coming six years, it boggles the mind how big these projects are,” he said.

    Bautista said infrastructure spending and improved interconnectivity will translate to growth in regional areas.

    “With this, we are very bullish as a bank, because we have a national scale. I think the bank will be in a very good position to support the downstream activities for lending,” he said.

    The Metrobank officials said the bank’s total loan portfolio mix this year would be 25 percent for consumer lending and 75 percent for commercial lending.

    The bank registered P18.09 billion net income for 2016, down 2.89 percent from the P8.63 billion posted in 2015.

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