Bank of Makati net profit surges

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BANK of Makati, Inc. (BMI) doubled its net profit in 2017 on the back of its motorcycle loan business.

In a statement obtained by BusinessWorld, the savings bank said it booked a P1.4 billion net income in 2017, 117.5% higher than the P645 million it logged the previous year.

The spike in its profit was mainly attributable to the lender’s net interest income, which rose to P4.68 billion by 13.3% from the P4.13 billion logged in 2016.

Total loans of the lender stood at P22.36 billion, 15% higher the P19.43 billion it booked in the comparable year-ago period.

Broken down, motorcycle loans accounted for bulk of BMI’s total loans at P15.66 billion. Commercial, consumption and microfinance loans, meanwhile, stood at P5.46 billion, P1.12 billion and P122.2 million, respectively.

“Last year, the motorcycle loans drove our bottom line,” Luis M. Chua, President of BMI said in an interview, adding that the loan segment made up 90% of the lender’s compounded annual growth rate.

The bank’s net interest margin rose to 18.2% last year from 16% in 2016.

On the other hand, BMI’s total deposits were at P22 billion, 6% higher than the P20.76 billion in 2016.

Operating expenses of the bank stood at P2.43 billion last year, up 13% from the P2.15 billion recorded in 2016. Mr. Chua noted that the bank managed to double its growth while keeping its expenses low.

Overall, BMI’s assets grew by 7.6% to P30.33 billion in 2017 from P28.19 billion in 2016.

BMI’s return on assets was at 4.5% while return on equity stood at 20.8%.

Looking ahead, Mr. Chua said BMI is looking at serving more unbanked Filipinos as well as going digital this year.

The bank president said BMI is looking at opening 40 branch-lite units this year.

“Our branches right now [are] still in the key cities and we want to cater more on the rural side and those which are…underserved and even the unbanked,” Mr. Chua told reporters during the launch of its new headquarters in Makati earlier this month.

In December, the central bank approved the option for lender to set up branch-lite units, a smaller and simplified version of a brick-and-mortar bank branch which can be placed in towns and cities which are unbanked or underserved.

As of September 2017, BMI was the ninth largest savings bank in the country in assets terms, data from the central bank showed.

BMI was originally established as a rural bank in 1956. It was bought by the Ongtengco family, owner of motorcycle dealer Motortrade, in 2001 and became a savings bank in 2015.

Currently, BMI has 62 branches and 703 outlets through Motortrade. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal