PNB to boost provincial lending, consumer banking, cross-selling
Tycoon Lucio Tan-led Philippine National Bank (PNB) plans to jack up provincial lending to take advantage of its expansive branch network and the emergence of new growth hubs, projecting lending to provincial small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to surpass SME lending in Metro Manila this year.
The bank’s strategy is to grow its assets by mid-teens every year for the next three years and to bring return on equity (ROE) to double-digit levels in two years, PNB executive vice president and chief finance officer Nelson Reyes said in a press briefing after the company’s stockholders’ meeting yesterday,
This year, PNB expects to sustain double-digit growth in earnings by growing core income and fee-based revenues while taking advantage of potential opportunities in securities trading, Reyes said. The bank also aims to continue unloading idle assets.
PNB still has P11 billion worth of real and other properties acquired (ROPA), although the level has gone down from P22 billion three years ago.
PNB boosted its net profit last year by 17 percent to P7.15 billion as the steady improvement in its core income was supplemented by nonrecurring revenues.
On core lending, PNB expects to continue growing its loan book faster than the 14 to 15 percent growth seen by the industry in recent years.
PNB head of institutional banking Cenon Audencial Jr. said PNB was poised to take a more active role in lending given that there were so many opportunities arising from the government’s thrust to usher in a “golden age of infrastructure”.
He said PNB had been more active not just in big-ticket public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure funding but also in bankrolling farm-to-market roads sponsored by local government units. “We make it a point to identify creditworthy competent contractors in the countryside and we’ve been quite successful,” he said.
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