STATE-RUN Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) reported a stronger net income in 2018, boosted by increased lending, particularly for infrastructure projects.

In a statement sent Friday, DBP said it made a P5.72-billion profit last year, up by 4.2% from the P5.49-billion bottom line in 2017.

Newly-appointed DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the higher net income came on the back of strong loan growth.

Total loans stood at P328.93 billion, which grew 12% higher than the P293.82 billion outstanding credit lines as of end-2017. A third of these loans were channelled to infrastructure and logistics, totalling P110.52 billion.

DBP is the eighth-biggest bank in the country, which has been assigned as the government’s infrastructure bank by the Duterte administration. It is largely meant to provide credit lines to construction projects, including big-ticket items on the “Build, Build, Build” pipeline.

New loans granted in 2018 reached P122.58 billion, more than double the P59.63-billion target for the year.

The second-biggest state-owned bank is also tasked to extend loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), social services and community development, and the environment.

MSMEs received P21.9 billion in total loans, while P10.34 billion has been channelled to environmental projects.

Meanwhile, bank assets rose by a tenth to reach P669.76 billion, putting DBP on track to hit P1 trillion assets by 2022.

Mr. Herbosa likewise reported a 15% increase in bank deposits to P474.44 billion, supported by higher placements from rural customers. Of the amount, P305.97 billion is held by state agencies and local government units.

The bank also attributed the rise in deposits to a wider branch network. DBP currently runs 137 branches nationwide, 789 automated teller machines, plus nine branch-lite units meant to serve rural communities.

Mr. Herbosa moved to DBP in March after serving as president of the Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency, taking the place of Cecilia C. Borromeo who was appointed to lead the Land Bank of the Philippines. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez