EastWest Bank earnings jump 36 percent in Jul-Sep


MANILA - The banking arm of the Gotianun group on Wednesday said its third-quarter profit jumped 36 percent year-on-year on the back of higher income from its loans, fee and trading businesses.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, East West Banking Corp said it earned P446 million in the July to September period, up from P118 million last year.

EastWest said net interest income - consisting largely of gains from the bank's lending business - went up 29 percent to P1.56 billion.

Service charges, fees and commissions rose 28 percent to P492 million on the back of the growth in consumer lending and deposit-related transactions. Trading and securities gains went up five and a half times to P597 million from P108 million in third quarter last year.

The third-quarter performance increased the bank's nine-month net income by 12 percent year-on-year to P1.36 billion.

EastWest closed the third quarter with a non-performing loan ratio of 4.3 percent, down from the 4.8 percent a year ago. Its loan loss coverage stood at 91 percent of total non-performing loans.

At end-September, the bank's capital adequacy ratio (CAR) - a measure of solvency - stood at 19.3 percent, up from 15.5 percent a year ago and well above the 10 percent regulatory minimum. Its Tier 1 capital ratio likewise improved to 15.4 percent from 11.2 percent in 2011.

The bank ended the third quarter with 217 branches, 133 of these in Metro Manila and 107 in restricted areas. EastWest had 41 branches in other parts of Luzon, 23 in Visayas and 20 in Mindanao.

The bank listed at the PSE last May, and on November 10 ended the sale of P5 billion worth of long-term negotiable certificates of deposit, with the proceeds meant to expand EastWest Bank's lending business.