Maybank Philippines Inc., the local unit of Malaysia’s largest lender, posted profits averaging far more than that generated by the country’s universal and commercial banks totaling P830.9 million in the first six months last year, from only P213.7 million in 2016.
This was almost four times more profits made over six months in 2016, and testament to the upside potential of consumer banking in the Philippines whose continued growth was second only to China last year.
In foreign currency terms, Maybank Philippines’s profits nearly quadrupled to $16.46 million in the first half last year, from only $4.54 million a year earlier.
Gross profits for the period stood significantly higher to P765.4 million or more than twice the previous year when this amounted to only P377.2 million.
Officials said these numbers were pushed higher by sustained growth in core business boosted in part by better cost and asset quality management.
Maybank Philippines’s six-month profits last year redound to a return on average equity (ROE) of 10.6 percent, nearly triple the previous year’s 3.6 percent. This compares with ROE averaging only 9.6 percent for universal and regular commercial lenders in the country.
The lender also reported a 10- percent expansion in loans to P63.8 billion even as its deposits grew at an even faster pace of 20 percent to P79.9 billion.
“Loan growth was driven primarily by higher-yielding consumer loans, which expanded at a double-digit pace of 23 percent.
This, coupled with a strong pricing discipline, enabled the bank to mitigate pressures on interest spread as its net interest margin further improved to 5.2 percent, from 4.9
percent a year earlier.
The lender recently announced the appointment of Choong Wai Hong as president and CEO, whose goal is to make its Philippine operations a major contributor to the Maybank Group that operates multiple units in the Asean.
Wai Hong previously vowed to boost fee income, pursue digital banking in earnest and exploit relationships across investment banking and the insurance business in
Wai Hong said the so-called insurance penetration rate in the Philippines is still very low and, in this sense, presents a large potential upside in the years forward.