Thursday, 29 April 2010

Metrobank Q1 profit up 32%

D. G. K. Carreon

THE METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank), the banking arm of tycoon George Ty, said its net income rose by almost a third in the first quarter, on higher profits from its lending business.

In a statement issued yesterday, Metrobank, the country’s second largest bank in terms of assets, said it recorded a consolidated net income of P2.5 billion in the first three months of the year, improving from P1.9 billion in the same period last year.

Metrobank shares closed flat at P53.50 apiece yesterday.

The lender did not divulge, however, how much it earned from its lending business, only disclosing that it booked an operating income summing up to P11.4 billion in the first quarter, 6.8% higher year-on-year, due to higher fee income, income from remittance services, and gains from financial market sales and trading.

It said net loans and receivables rose by 2.1% to P338.7 billion due to higher demand for financing by various firms, but particularly by those engaged in power generation and distribution and real estate development.

It also said it saw “sustained volumes from the consumer and middle market segments.”

Operating expenses, meanwhile, rose by 9.4% to P7 billion, due to higher manpower expenses.

Metrobank said it ended the quarter with consolidated resources up by almost a tenth to P833.4 billion mainly due to an 8.6% growth in deposits to P602.1 billion.

The bank also said it opened a subsidiary in China -- Metropolitan Bank (China) Limited -- to capitalize on that country’s runaway economic growth.

“Metrobank’s branch and sub-branch in Shanghai were folded into the wholly-owned subsidiary, Metropolitan Bank (China) Limited (MBCL), the first foreign bank headquarters to be established in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, one of the fastest growing regions in China,” it said.

MBCL, which has a branch and sub-branch in Shanghai and a representative office in Beijing, will focus on entrepreneurs and private companies.

Metrobank said it has been authorized by the Monetary Board to invest up to 1.5 billion yuan in MBCL, which currently has 1.3 billion yuan in capital (P8.5 billion).

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