ROBINSONS BANK Corp. is expecting its assets to grow by almost a third in 2019, propelled by its lending activities.
Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said in a text message that the Gokongwei-led lender is targeting a 32% asset growth next year.
“Growth is expected to be from lending activities as we see the demand for both commercial and consumer loans to remain strong in 2019,” Mr. Sarte told BusinessWorld on Friday.
Mr. Sarte added that demand for loans in both the corporate and retail segments will continue to be robust on the back of strong economic growth, with gross domestic product growth expected to be at a 6% level and inflation seen to decelerate.
“Economic growth will remain strong…as interest rate hikes, if any, will not mirror the increase we experienced this year,” Mr. Sarte added.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier this month opted to keep benchmark interest rates unchanged at a range of 4.25-5.25% as inflation is now expected to trek a “lower path”over the next two years.
The central bank added that inflation is seen to return to the government’s 2-4% target band by the end of the first quarter next year.
Aside from the bank’s lending activities, Mr. Sarte also noted that its credit card business will also contribute to its growth next year.
Robinsons Bank is also targeting to put up 16 new branches next year, bringing its network to 162, along with 322 automated teller machines.
The Gokongwei-led bank booked a P292.4-million net income in the nine months ended September, 32% higher than the P222.2 million recorded in the same period last year.
Robinsons Bank is licensed as a commercial lender and is the 19th biggest in the industry in asset terms as of June. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal