THE CENTRAL BANK posted lower net earnings in the first five months of the year as revenues fell due to the drop in its interest and miscellaneous income.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) saw its net income drop by 49.7% to P14.04 billion in January to May from the P27.91 billion seen in the same period a year ago.

Revenues also fell 25.77% to P40.52 billion versus the P54.59 billion logged in the first five months of 2019.

Interest income shrank 25.74% to P33.04 billion from the P44.49 billion recorded a year ago.

Miscellaneous income, which includes trading gains, fees and penalties, likewise plunged 25.94% to P7.48 billion from P10.10 billion. This, as net gains on foreign exchange fluctuations sank 74.19% to P2.09 billion from P8.1 billion in the January to May 2019 period.

Expenses also declined 2.83% to P28.57 billion from P31.78 billion.

The BSP’s total assets as of May stood at P5.948 trillion, a 14.6% increase from the P5.191 trillion logged a year ago.

The central bank’s net income in 2019 stood at a record high of P47.1 billion.

Despite provisions from Republic Act 11211 or The New Central Bank Act which exempts the BSP to pay dividends to the national government, the BSP has remitted P21.48 billion in dividends to the national government in March in a bid to boost the country’s war chest to battle the pandemic. — L.W.T. Noble