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LANDBANK income up 52%

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Landbank

Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) saw its net income surge in the first quarter, supported by strong growth in loans.

The state-run lender said it logged a P4.26-billion net profit in the January-March period, 52% higher than the P2.81 billion booked in the same period last year.

This was also 13% higher than the bank’s P3.78 billion profit guidance for the first quarter.

The strong first-quarter profit was attributed by LANDBANK to higher interest income from loans, which surged 25% year-on-year, the bank said in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday.

The lender saw a 31% growth in its loan portfolio to P694.71 billion last quarter from the year-ago level of P529.16 billion.

“The 31% growth in our loan portfolio is also a strong indicator of our fervent drive to reach more agribusiness borrowers, especially in the countryside,” LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer Alex V. Buenaventura was quoted as saying in a statement.

Likewise, total deposits also expanded by 19% to P1.44 trillion from the P1.22 trillion logged in a comparable year-ago period.

Overall, the bank’s assets grew 19% to P1.63 trillion as of end-March from P1.38 trillion in the same period last year.

Total capital also rose 22% to P108.37 billion from last year’s P88.63 billion.

“This quarter’s performance assures us that we are gaining the momentum to meet our targets this year,” Mr. Buenaventura added. “The bank’s solid financial performance is our source of financial muscle to attain our bigger mission of promoting inclusive growth.”

LANDBANK’s return on equity and net interest margin were at 15.74% and 3.3%, respectively, remaining above industry averages.

“The bank also remains aggressive in strengthening its lending programs and tailoring new programs to the needs of its clients, especially its priority sectors,” the bank said.

It added that it remained the biggest lender to the agricultural sector, catering mostly to small farmers and fishers as well as microenterprises and small to medium businesses.

Last month, LANDBANK said it may set up its own bond exchange if the stakeholders at the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDSHC) continue to snub purchase offers.

This comes after the bank sent out P360-per-share purchase offers to stakeholders of the fixed-income bourse for a month ending April 5 to get a majority share, with only one agreeing to the proposal.

LANDBANK launched another round of offers on April 20 valid for one month, still priced at P360 apiece.

Earlier this year, LANDBANK’s board of directors approved the acquisition of 66.67% stake of PDSHC.

Currently, the state-owned lender owns 1.56% of the bourse through the Bankers Association of the Philippines. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal