• UnionBank sees flat growth in 2015


    ABOITIZ-LED bank Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) expects profits to stay close to last year’s results in views of the weaker performance in the first half of 2015.

    Edwin Bautista, UnionBank senior executive vice president, told reporters at the sidelines of the Aboitiz media event last week that its lending business in the second half will help offset the poor results in January to June.

    “The second half will be better… There’s a big growth in our loan book. It’s something that in the past we’ve said that we’ll do but the growth has always been just modest. But since last year, most of our growth is coming from retail . . . from auto loans, mortgage, salary loans,” Bautista noted.

    “I think we will just be on the same level last year,” he added.

    In the first half of the year, UnionBank posted P3 billion in net income from P4.463 billion a year earlier due to lower trading gains. This compares with an earlier forecast of P8.7 billion in net income for the whole of 2015.

    The bank’s loan portfolio is forecast to grow 5 percent to 6 percent for the rest of 2015, said Bautista, noting that lending now comprises half of UnionBank’s balance sheet compared with the previous years when securities dominated the bank’s business.


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