PSBank sees better loan growth in 2019

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PHILIPPINE Savings Bank (PSBank) sees better loan growth for this year as decelerating inflation coupled with other economic conditions translate to softer loan rates.

PSBank President Jose Vicente L. Alde said the thrift banking arm of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. expects its consumer loan growth to “be better than last year’s” as price increases are expected to taper off.

“Based on analysts’ projections, inflation for 2019 is expected to trend lower,” Mr. Alde said in a text message. “If lower inflation, combined with other factors affecting the financial markets, translates to softer loan rates, then we can expect consumer loan growth to be better than last year’s.”

Inflation eased for a second consecutive month in December to print at 5.1%, as food and transportation prices increased at a slower pace.

The inflation print last month was slower than the 6% recorded in November and fell below the 5.2-6% forecast band of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Mr. Alde added that car, home and small business loans will drive its lending growth this year.

PSBank is set to raise P8 billion through a stock rights offer today until Jan. 11, issuing 184.7 million common shares.

In a previous e-mail, Mr. Alde said proceeds from the stock rights issuance will “support the projected growth of the bank.”

PSBank booked a P2.03-billion net income in the first nine months of 2018, 8.1% higher than the P1.88 billion booked in the comparable year-ago period.

Its shares closed at P57.50 each on Friday, down P3.50 or 5.74% from the previous close. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal