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Metrobank first-semester profit down 30%

/ 04:07 AM August 03, 2020

Ty family-led Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. booked P9.1 billion in first semester net profit, down by 30 percent year-on-year, as it set aside a larger buffer for loan losses that might arise from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic recession.

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For the second quarter, during which most businesses felt the brunt of the lockdown measures, Metrobank’s net profit was down by 52.5 percent to about P3 billion from year-ago level.

This developed as Metrobank raised its loan loss provisions in the first semester to P22.8 billion, or over five times the P4.6 billion buffer in the first half last year.

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“Our core business remains strong. Preprovision operating profit grew 61 percent and the balance sheet is solid, with good deposit levels,” said Metrobank president Fabian Dee.

“Consistent with our conservative business strategy, we are very mindful of future risks that will likely impact the banking industry, so we are doing an early buildup of larger provisions … We are taking all the necessary steps as we continue to focus on supporting our clients and the recovery of the economy,” he added.

With the slowdown across industries as activities ground to a halt during the quarantine in the second quarter, Metrobank’s loan book declined by 5 percent to P1.3 trillion.

Commercial lending was tempered as expansion plans were put on hold due to the uncertain business climate. However, consumer loans were hardly changed as steady mortgage and increased credit card receivables offset the 6-percent contraction in auto loans.

But while its loan book dipped, deposit base grew by 5 percent to P1.7 trillion, driven by the 20-percent increment in low-cost deposits. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ

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