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Robinsons Bank net income up in first nine months

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A ROBINSONS Bank branch is seen in Ermita, Manila. — BW FILE PHOTO

ROBINSONS BANK Corp. booked a higher net income in the first nine months of the year driven by its interest earnings, but may miss its full-year earnings goal as borrowing rates rise.

In a text message, Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said the Gokongwei-led Robinsons Bank recorded a P292.4-million net income in the nine months ended September, 32% higher than the P222.2 million booked in the same period last year.

Mr. Sarte said its nine-month income was driven by its interest income at P3.92 billion, up 40% from last year’s P2.80 billion a year ago.

The bank’s total loans grew 34% to P63.6 billion as of end-September from the P47.5 billion tallied year-on-year.

Total deposits, on the other hand, reached P93.3 billion last quarter, higher by 18% from the P79.1 billion in a comparable year-ago period.

Moving forward, Mr. Sarte said the lender is “not on track” to hit its P500-million profit guidance for this year amid higher interest rates.

“No, we are not on track to hit our guidance profit. We expect slowdown of our growth in the last quarter,” he said.

Policy rates have risen by 175 basis points after the central bank’s five consecutive hikes done to arrest price expectations as inflation surged beyond the 2-4% band set for this year.

Higher interest rates pose risks for banks as this may affect the lenders’ loan growth and revenues.

“The prevailing high interest rates in the market affects loan demand as well as our margins,” Mr. Sarte said.

In July, Robinsons Bank raised P1.78 billion from the first tranche of its P5-billion long term certificates of deposit program, which carry an interest rate of 4.875% to be paid quarterly.

The second tranche worth P3.5-billion will be issued next year to fund the expected growth of its lending segment.

Robinsons Bank is licensed as a commercial lender and is the 19th biggest in the industry in asset terms as of end-June. It ended September with 142 branches. It is looking to scale up to be a universal bank and eventually go public. — K.A.N. Vidal