EastWest doubles branch network in 2012


Paul Anthony A. Isla / Reporter

EAST West Banking Corp. (EastWest) said on Wednesday its branch network increased two-fold, from 122 branches in 2011 to 245 in 2012.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, EastWest said it opened 123 new branches across the country last year.

"EastWest's commitment to its shareholders was to open new stores around the country at a rapid pace, which it has fervently pursued. The bank plans to continue with its store expansion and grow its network to at least 350 by 2014," the lender said.

The bank's branch-network expansion is among the notable achievements it made in 2012.

In September, EastWest's net income grew by 12 percent to P1.36 billion in the first nine months of 2012. Total loans grew by 36.1 percent to P60.97 billion in the same period.

Total CA/SA (low-cost deposits) reached P33.4 billion, a 21.9-percent increase year on year. Return on average equity stood at 12.3 percent, while return on average asset was at 1.9 percent.

In October, The Asian Banker magazine named EastWest as the sixth strongest bank in the Philippines. The publication provides business-intelligence reports on the financial-services industry.

The Asian Banker scored Philippine banks based on scale, balance sheet growth, risk-profile, profitability, asset quality and liquidity.

Also in October, EastWest offered P5 billion worth of Long-Term Negotiable Certificates of Time Deposit, which will mature in five years. The first tranche totaled P1.5 billion.

In November, the bank was included in the MSCI Global Small Cap indices list. MSCI provides investment decision support tools to investors, asset managers, banks, hedge funds and pension funds. The MSCI Small Cap Index measures the equity performance of small cap stocks in developed and emerging markets.

EastWest Bank began operations on August 1, 1994. It is a subsidiary of the Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), the publicly listed holding company of the Filinvest Group, which evolved from a consumer business founded by Andrew L. Gotianun Sr. in 1955.

FDC is one of the country's premier conglomerates, with business interests in real estate, banking, sugar, hospitality and tourism, and power generation.