LANDBANK surpasses income target

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LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) saw its profit decline by a third in April, but still breached its target for the first four months, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

In a statement, the DoF said that LANDBANK posted a P808-million net income in April, down 34.2% from the P1.228 billion posted in the same month last year, the DoF said in a statement.

Still, in the four months ended April, the state-run lender’s net profit reached P5.068 billion, up 26% from the P4.038 billion booked in the same period last year and beating its P5.042-billion target.

Gross revenues stood at P20.43 billion in the period, 29.55% more than the P15.77 billion in revenues in the comparable period last year.

“The bank’s robust performance provides us the tools in fulfilling our goal of providing financial services to more borrowers in the countryside, particularly in the agricultural sector. We will continue to expand lending opportunities for small farmers, fishers and micro-entrepreneurs to help make growth truly inclusive for all Filipinos,” LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer Alex V. Buenaventura was quoted as saying in the statement.

“LANDBANK remains the biggest credit provider to small farmers, fishers and micro, small and medium enterprises among government financial institutions,” the DoF said.

LANDBANK, whose board is chaired by the Finance secretary, said its interest income on loans grew 29.77% to P10.553 billion at end-April from P8.132 billion in the same four months last year.

Its total loan portfolio expanded by P197 billion or 37% from last year.

The lender’s income from investments stood at P6.425 billion in the four-month period, 5% higher than the P6.1240-billion take in 2017.

“Interest income on government and private securities amounted to P1.302 billion, while gains from the sale, redemption or derecognition of non-trading financial assets was reported at P123 million,” the DoF said.

“Dividends received from equity investments is lower by P196 million while income from financial assets held for trading decreased by P928 million,” it added.

The lender said income from foreign exchange transactions grew by P659 million or 136% from last year “as a result of the revaluation gain on the bank’s foreign-currency-denominated assets.”

LANDBANK’s income report comes at a time when it seeks to buy about two thirds of the Philippine Dealings System Holdings Corp. (PDSHC), previously noting the deal would be financially favorable for the bank and would help the government fast-track the development of the fixed-income market.

So far, just one unnamed PDSHC stakeholder has agreed to LANDBANK’s offer to purchase its shares of the bond market for P360 a piece. LANDBANK currently owns 1.56% of PDSHC through the BAP, which holds a cumulative 13.26% share for itself and its member-banks.

The bank also said it may set up its own bond exchange to accommodate bond floats by small firms if PDSHC owners continue to refuse its offer. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan

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