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RCBC net income slips in first semester

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RIZAL Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) posted a P2.2-billion net income as of end-June, fuelled by steady growth in its core businesses but dampened by lower trading gains.

Net profit of the Yuchengco-led lender slipped by 6.4% from the P2.35 billion net income it reported for the first six months of 2017.

In a disclosure, RCBC said core income posted a robust 47% growth year-on-year, with net interest income growing 12% to P9.7 billion as yields improved.

“Even with the intense pricing competition, the Bank still achieved an annualized net interest margin of 3.98% which remains one of the highest in the sector,” the bank told the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Total loans and receivables also surged by 14% to reach P372 billion. Credit lines extended to the small business segment rose 36%, while credit card debts picked up by a third. Both consumer and corporate loans also posted increases worth 17% and 11%, respectively.

Despite the pickup in lending, soured debts took a measly 1.18% share of total loans, improving from 1.35% in the same period last year.




RCBC’s subsidiary Rizal MicroBank also saw its loan lines grow by 27% for micro and small enterprises, while RCBC Bankard’s active card base expanded by 16% to 625,000 as of end-June. Income drawn from fees and commissions reached P1.8 billion.

Bank deposits also grew to reach P396.4 billion.

On the other hand, total operating expenses amounted to P9.6 billion as the bank spent on putting up new branches and spent more due to higher documentary stamp taxes.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law which took effect Jan. 1 doubled the documentary stamp tax rates imposed on bank checks, certificates of deposit, and similar financial instruments.

Despite the income drop, RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer Gil A. Buenaventura said they are “above target” as of the first semester.

“With the new P15 billion capital raised in July, we will remain focused on growing our lending business especially the Consumer and SME, and Microfinance business throughout the Philippines.” Mr. Buenaventura added.

RCBC, the country’s tenth-biggest bank, currently runs 509 branches nationwide, adding 14 new offices from 495 in June last year. The bank’s network of automated teller machines also grew to 1,597 during the first semester.

In June, the listed lender announced a partnership with Japan’s Kansai Mirai Financial Group, Inc. to tap blockchain platforms and set up remittance services between the two countries.

RCBC shares closed the week at P30 apiece on Friday. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez