BDO UNIBANK, Inc.’s trust unit is targeting double-digit growth in its assets under management (AUM) this year, an official said.

The increase will be driven by “good returns generated by clients from fixed-income instruments and time deposits due to higher inflation print, growing Philippine economy, and banks competing for funds to shore up deposit levels,” BDO Trust and Investments Group Senior Vice-President and Head Rafael G. Ayuste, Jr. said in an e-mail.

“Clients are locking in longer tenor bonds for the annuity income,” Mr. Ayuste added.

Headline inflation eased for a fourth straight month to 6.1% in May from 6.6% in April. Still, this was faster than the 5.4% print in the same month a year ago.

This was the slowest rate seen in a year or since the 5.4% in May 2022. Inflation has been on a downtrend since hitting 8.7% in January.

For the first five months, headline inflation averaged 7.5%, still well above the central bank’s 2-4% target and 5.5% forecast for the year.

Meanwhile, Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.4% in the first quarter, slower than the 7.1% in prior three-month period, and the 8% expansion in the first quarter of 2022.

The government targets 6-7% GDP growth this year. The economy expanded by 7.6% in 2022.

Mr. Ayuste said downside risks include geopolitical issues abroad.

“These events cause heightened volatilities in both equities and fixed-income markets, both locally and globally,” he said.

He said the Sy-led bank’s consolidated AUMs stood at around P1.9 trillion as of May.

BDO’s attributable net income grew by 40.44% year on year to P16.528 billion in the first quarter as it recorded growth across its core businesses.

Its shares rose by P1.15 or 0.84% to end at P137.80 apiece on Thursday. — A.M.C. Sy