RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Philippines

Philippine banks' profits surge 28% in Q1

Strong gains from trading and lending pushed up earnings.

Philippine banks opened the year on strong financial footing as profits surged by over 28% QoQ to $1.09b (PHP57.06b) in Q1 from $848.36m (PHP44.42b) in Q4 2018, according to central bank data cited by The Philippine Star.

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The earnings of universal and commercial banks or big banks rose by nearly 25% to $946.13m (PHP49.54b). However, the earnings of thrift banks or mid-sized banks fell 11.8% to $68.17m (PHP3.57b). 

Strong gains from trading and net interest income which hit nearly $3b (PHP156.59b) were the primary engines behind the Philippine banking industry's strong quarterly earnings. 

Non-interest income also rose by 20% to $932.58m (PHP48.84b) as earnings from fees and commissions rose by 26% to $513.64m (PHP26.9b). Despite the volatile environment, the trading income of Philippine banks climbed by 8.4% to $308.57m (PHP16.16b) in the first quarter amidst strong foreign exchange profits.

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