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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines
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Philippine National Bank's first half income up 144%

Philippine National Bank’s net profit grew by 144% to P1.77 billion in the first six months fromthe same period last year.

PNB said the net income figures for the comparative periods are net of the amortization of deferred charges on special purpose vehicles.

Total operating income grew 34% to P8.7 billion compared to P6.5 billion of the same period a year ago.

Interest income on loans was up 6% owing to improved volume and better spreads coming out of a good mix of corporate, SME and consumer lending.

Net loans and receivables grew by P5.3 billion during the first half of the year to close at P131.5 billion. Trading and investment securities gains expanded 16 times over year-on-year to close P2.6 billion, attributed largely to the gain on sale and redemption of available for sale securities.

Given its outlook of the market, PNB beefed up its inventory of available-for-sale investments by 13% from the end of 2011 income from transactional foreign exchange was likewise up 42%.

On the other hand, the deliberate move to focus on generating low cost funds resulted in an improvement on average cost of funds, thus shoring up net margins by 3% as interest expense went down by 24% compared to the same period last year.

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