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LANDBANK’s net earnings climb

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STATE-RUN Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) saw its net income surge as of September as loans grew by more than a third, it reported yesterday.

In a statement, LANDBANK reported an P11.4-billion bottom line for the first nine months, 9% higher than the P10.5 billion it made during the comparable year-ago period.

The bigger revenues are driven by bigger interest income, fueled by a 37% increase in the bank’s total loan portfolio now worth P838.7 billion. Meanwhile, return on equity hit 13.15% to clock in above industry average, the bank said.

This came alongside a 20% increase in deposits, which expanded to P1.57 trillion from P1.31 trillion during the same period in 2017, due to bigger private and government funds parked under LANDBANK accounts. In turn, the bank’s total assets also grew a fifth to reach P1.77 trillion as of September.

The government’s biggest financial firm also reported a higher capital base, with the amount growing by 22.6% to P124.9 billion.

LANDBANK President and chief executive officer Alex V. Buenaventura said the lender will likely sustain the robust income growth for the rest of the year, supported by the strength of its core businesses.

“We are optimistic about capping 2018 on a high note, as income from loans and investments remains strong,” Mr. Buenaventura was quoted as saying. “This allows us to continue to channel greater financial assistance to our priority sectors, foremost to our farmers and fishers, microenterprises and SMEs, agribusiness and other development players.”

The state lender is eyeing to rake in a P16-billion profit this year, which if realized will climb from the P14.05 billion net income in 2017.

LANDBANK serves as the main depository bank for government funds, and is being used for the release of cash transfers to poor families as well as subsidies to certain sectors. It is also focused on lending to farmers and small-scale firms.

LANDBANK is also looking to acquire a controlling stake in the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS) by December. The bank has offered to buy PDS shares at P215 apiece, with Mr. Buenaventura hoping to get a supermajority by buying some 67.67% of the country’s fixed-income bourse.

Mr. Buenaventura previously said the bank’s control of PDS will help aid financial market reforms as they plan to take bond issuances and purchases wider via their network, as they seek to support corporate bonds floated by small and medium-sized firms. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez

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