EastWest profit rises by 236%
Business World September 10, 2010
By Jose Bimbo F. Santos

FIRST-HALF profit of Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. more than tripled after its interest income nearly doubled due to higher demand for loans by companies.

In a statement, EastWest yesterday reported its net income reached P858 million in the first semester, 236% up from the P255 million in the same period last year. It was also 38% higher than the full-year 2009 income of P622 million.

“If present trends continue, we are looking to book total profits for 2010 of at least P1.8 billion, almost triple of what we earned in 2009,” Antonio C. Moncupa, Jr., EastWest chief executive, was quoted as saying in the statement.

The bank’s net interest income nearly doubled to P2.17 billion from P1.11 billion in the same period last year.

Securities and foreign exchange trading, meanwhile, contributed P300 million, up by 44%; while fees and other income added P781 million, rising by 38%.

EastWest said net interest income was driven by higher demand for loans by companies. Loans increased by 15.8%, with corporate loans jumping by 32.7%. Retail consumer loans, meanwhile, rose by 4.6%.

At the same time, EastWest said it managed to keep down costs by expanding the share of low cost deposits.

“Overall, we are in good shape. Our assets have the right mix of liquidity, credit quality and yield. Our liability structure is good. We believe we are ahead of our loss provisioning requirements,” Mr. Moncupa said.

“Our earnings could support our measured expansion plans and our parent, Filinvest Development Corp., has the capability to provide more capital for any extraordinary opportunity that may come our way,” he added.

In the last three years, EastWest’s parent Filinvest Development Corp. poured a total of P4.5 billion in Tier 1 capital to the bank.

EastWest, which presently has 94 branches, is a wholly owned unit of Filinvest Development Corp., the listed holding company of the Filinvest Group of Andrew L. Gotianun, Sr.