China Bank bucks pandemic downturn, posts double-digit profit growth
MANILA, Philippines—Sy family-led China Banking Corp. bucked the downturn in corporate earnings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, posting a double-digit growth in profits while hitting the P1-trillion milestone in asset base.
Net profit in 2020 rose by 20 percent to P12.1 billion, despite a hefty increase in provisions against probable loan losses. This improved the bank’s return on equity to 12.1 percent from 11 percent in the previous year, China Bank disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday (Feb. 26).
“Going into the crisis, China Bank was operationally and financially sound, but what enabled us to remain resilient and to sustain our growth momentum was our employees who went above and beyond in 2020,” said China Bank president William Whang.
“Our relentless efforts to build and maintain robust liquidity and capital levels have positioned the bank well to weather the ongoing storm, and at the same time, to help our customers and the country recover.,” he said.
China Bank, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020, likewise grew its resources last year by 8 percent to end the year with P1.04 trillion in assets.
Amid a challenging environment, the bank booked P8.9 billion in loan loss reserves last year, 3.5 times larger than the buffer set aside in 2019.
China Bank noted that a strong growth in core businesses and better investment and trading returns offset the pandemic-related loan buffer.
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