METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) saw its net income grow in the third quarter on the back of the strong performance of its core businesses.
In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, the Ty-led Metrobank said it posted P5.7 billion in net earnings in the July-September period, 55% higher than the P3.7 billion recorded in the same period last year.
This brought Metrobank’s nine-month income to P16.8 billion, up 27% year-on-year.
The bank attributed the robust growth to the “solid performance of the core business” as margins were lifted higher by the double-digit growth in loans and current and savings account (CASA) ratio, while keeping the increase in operating expenses at a manageable level.
Metrobank’s net interest income was at P51 billion in the first nine months of the year, accounting for bulk of the bank’s total revenue of P68.4 billion.
Its loan portfolio stood at P1.3 trillion as of end-September, growing by 15% from the year-ago level. This was led by the commercial segment at 17%, driven by the “consistent” performance by its corporate accounts, middle market and small business segments.
“Demand continues to be positive in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and real estate sectors,” according the bank’s disclosure to the local bourse.
On the funding side, total deposits grew to P1.5 trillion as of end-September, inching up by 5%. Meanwhile, the bank’s CASA ratio was maintained at 62%.
Meanwhile, non-interest income rose 4% to P17.4 billion, supported mainly by the P10.2 billion in service fees and commissions as well as income from trust operations, up 11%.
Net trading and foreign exchange gains as well as miscellaneous income also contributed to Metrobank’s non-interest income at P2.1 billion and P5.1 billion, respectively.
“Fee-related revenues benefitted from steady customer-driven flows and boosted by the large corporate deals that were booked in the early part of the year,” Metrobank noted.
Operating expenses was kept within the bank’s guidance at P33 billion, up 10%. Manpower-related costs grew 12% to P16 billion, while the balance was spent for Metrobank’s continuous efforts to improve its system and processes.
Meanwhile, expenses for taxes and licenses stood at P6.3 billion, which included the new requirements under the new tax regime implemented this year.
Asset quality metrics remained healthy and above industry average, as Metrobank’s non-performing loans (NPL) ratio was “relatively flat” at 1.2% from 1.1% in the previous quarter, with NPL cover maintained at 110%.
The bank also set aside P5.2 billion in provisions for credit and impairment losses due to the impact of Philippine Financial Reporting Standards 9 adopted this year.
Metrobank’s net interest margin for the nine-month period stood at 3.88%, higher by nine basis points than the year-ago level. It was also higher than the 3.77% recorded in the first half of the year.
The bank’s assets totalled P2.1 trillion, with equity at P277.5 billion. Total capital adequacy ratio was at 17.8%, while its common equity Tier 1 ratio at 15.2%.
In the statement, Metrobank Chairman Arthur V. Ty said the lender’s strong performance during the nine-month period is “very encouraging” amid inflation concerns and rising interest rates.
“Credit demand remains healthy and the bank continues to grow cautiously its consumer, business and infrastructure-related loan portfolio without incurring unnecessary risks to asset quality and profitability,” Mr. Ty was quoted as saying. “We will continue to be a key player in the country’s economic development, anchored on our long-term strategy of growth, good governance and sustainability.”
Last week, the bank raised P10 billion in fresh funds through fixed-rate bonds, which is part of its P100-billion bond and commercial paper program.
The issuance, which carry an interest rate of 7.15% and a two-year tenor, was the first by a local bank since the monetary authority allowed lenders to tap the capital market as a funding source without having to secure its approval.
Metrobank shares closed Wednesday’s session at P67 apiece, up P2.20 or 3.4%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal