THE Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) posted a lower net profit of P3.9 billion in 2020 on higher credit loss provisions and operating expenses.

The state lender’s net income decreased by 30.4% last year from P5.6 billion recorded in 2019, DBP Executive Vice-President for Corporate Services and Concurrent Head of Operations Marietta M. Fondevilla said in a statement on Thursday.

“DBP’s financial standing mirrors the general trend in the industry as the majority of the banks amplified actions in ensuring ample reserves to cover probable losses as a result of dwindling economic activity,” Ms. Fondevilla said.

The bank’s loan portfolio rose 19% to P423.32 billion as of December from P356.75 billion a year earlier.

More than half (53.4%) of the loans or P225.9 billion were disbursed for infrastructure and logistic projects. Meanwhile, the bank also facilitated loans meant for social services and community development (P78.9 billion); environmental projects (P44.8 billion); and micro, small and medium enterprises (P32.8 billion).

“We remain committed to the collective and purposive efforts of the National Government to bolster resiliency and carve a steady path to recovery and growth especially of our traditional customer segments,” DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa was quoted as saying.

DBP’s deposits also jumped 47.6% to P817.9 billion last year from P554.18 billion in 2019, while investments increased 26% to P260.1 billion from P206.57 billion.

These brought the bank’s total assets to P1.04 trillion at end-2020, rising by 37% from P761.24 billion in the prior year.

Meanwhile, the bank’s gross margin increased 5% to P20.91 billion from P19.9 billion in 2019.

In December, DBP listed P21 billion in two-year peso-denominated bonds with a coupon rate of 2.5%. Proceeds from the fundraising exercise will be used to support its lending activities.

DBP is the sixth-largest bank in the country in terms of assets and has been designated as the country’s infrastructure bank by the National Government. — L.W.T. Noble