THE CENTRAL BANK saw its net profit surge nearly sixfold in April as it collected bigger interest incomes and trimmed operating costs.
Latest available data showed the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) made a P17.55-billion net income as of end-April, more than five times the P3.37 billion booked during the same period last year.
Revenues posted a 30.2% rise to hit P25.64 billion, well above the P19.69 billion reported during the first four months of 2017. This came after interest income collections reached P22.96 billion, growing from P17.84 billion last year.
Miscellaneous income drawn from fees and penalties also picked up to hit P2.67 billion from P1.85 billion previously, according to central bank data.
On the other hand, the BSP was able to cut down its expenses to P16.92 billion, a fifth lower than the 21.54 billion in operating costs incurred last year.
Gains from foreign currency trading also bolstered the central bank’s bottom line by P8.84 billion, around 70% higher than the P5.22 billion generated a year ago.
The BSP observes “tactical intervention” during daily peso-dollar trading in keeping with its mandate of price and financial stability. This is to smoothen out any sharp swings may cause a sudden appreciation or depreciation of the peso.
Central bank officials have said that a weaker peso meant gains for the BSP, as a lot of its investments are expressed in dollars.
The peso averaged P52.0986 versus the greenback in May, versus the P49.8626 exchange rate in April 2017.
The central bank appears on track to remain in the black this year, coming after the record P22.85 billion net income posted in 2017. The BSP has recovered from six straight years of a net loss when it posted a P17.81 billion profit in 2016.
The BSP has been lobbying for a proposed law that will infuse P150 billion as additional capital for the central bank in order to boost its operations. The measure has been approved on second reading by the House of Representatives. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez