BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) reported higher net earnings in the third quarter supported by growth in its core businesses.

In a regulatory filing Wednesday, the Ayala-led lender said it registered an P8.29-billion net income in the July to August period, up 38.6% from its profit in the comparable year-ago period.

This brought the bank’s bottom line for the first nine months to P22.03 billion, climbing 29.5% from the P17.01 billion seen the previous year.

Total revenues for the nine-month period grew 24.8% to P71 billion, thanks to the 19.8% year-on-year jump in net interest income to P48.66 billion.

BPI’s total loans hit P1.37 trillion, up 8.2% year-on-year, as its consumer and corporate loans rose by 12.5% and 7.4%, respectively.

“Within the consumer segment, credit card loan growth continued its upward trajectory, climbing 24.6% year-on-year,” BPI said in a statement.

Its non-performing loan ratio was at 1.81% at end-September, flat compared to the prior year.

On the funding side, total deposits rose five percent to P1.62 trillion as of September. Its current and savings account ratio stood (CASA) at 69.1%, while the loan-to-deposit ratio hit 84.7%.

Meanwhile, non-interest income totalled P22.34 billion in the nine-month period, an increase of 37.5% from a year ago, on the back of higher securities trading gains and fee-based income.

BPI’s securities position was at P392.99 billion, up 17.3% from last year’s level. Fees, commissions and other income grew 19.1% due to higher fee revenues from credit cards, deposit products, insurance, transaction banking, leasing, retail loans and electronic channels.

Operating expenses stood at P37.09 billion in the nine-month period, rising by 15.6% year-on-year.

BPI’s cost-to-income ratio stood at 52.2% at end-September, coming from 56.4% in the same period last year.

Provisions for loan losses was at P4.58 billion, including specific reserves for its exposure to Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) Philippines. This brought BPI’s loss coverage ratio to 102.7%.

The Ayala-led lender is among the five domestic banks — together with Land Bank of the Philippines, BDO Unibank, Inc., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. — that have exposure to the troubled HHIC-Philippines.

“Total equity reached P267.85 billion, providing a strong capital position to support future growth, with an indicative Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio of 15.87% and Capital Adequacy Ratio of 16.76%,” BPI said.

Meanwhile, the bank’s return on assets stood at 1.4%.

BPI’s shares gained 0.97% to close at P94 apiece on Wednesday. — Luz Wendy T. Noble