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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia
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Rakyat posts largest profit among Indonesian banks

Bank Rakyat Indonesia's January-June profit rose 57 percent to Rp 6.79 trillion or US$ 801 million from the same period a year earlier.

 
That made BRI the lender with the largest profit among Indonesian banks so far this year, a position it is likely to retain through the remainder of the reporting season, said Asmawi Syam, the bank’s business and institution director.
 
BRI’s performance in the first half should help it reach Rp 14 trillion in net income this year, said the lender’s finance director, Achmad Baiquni.
 
“In the second half, the profit could be double that, give or take,” he said.
 
Last year, BRI booked a full-year profit of Rp 9.3 trillion.
 
Many Indonesian lenders, including Bank Mandiri and Bank Central Asia, have reported a surge in their profit in the first half of the year due to rising loan demand in the country’s growing economy. Low borrowing costs have encouraged Indonesians to take out loans to expand their businesses, as well as to make purchases on homes, cars and televisions.

Total loans outstanding at BRI rose 18 percent to Rp 265.8 trillion, driven by strong growth in micro-lending to farmers in rural areas.
 
The bank’s micro-lending,  which consists of loans of as little as Rp 100,000 disbursed to small-scale businesses, surged 36 percent to Rp 83.9 trillion .

Mid-sized lenders Bank Mega and Bank Victoria also reported a surge in first-half profit as lending to consumers grew.

Bank Mega’s profit jumped 3.2 percent to Rp 431 billion in the first half, according to the lender’s financial statement, released on Friday. The bank’s net interest income rose 24 percent to Rp 860 billion. Total loans at Bank Mega were up 30 percent to Rp 27.1 trillion.
 
Shares of Bank Mega remained unchanged at Rp 3,700.
 
At Bank Victoria, a smaller lender, profit almost tripled to Rp 146 billion in the first half, according to its financial statement, also released on Friday. The bank managed to halve operational costs to Rp 92.1 billion, from Rp 182 billion a year earlier, with windfall income from a provisioning recall of Rp 115 billion.
 
Bank Victoria’s loans rose 40 percent to Rp 4.73 trillion.
 
Bank Indonesia deputy governor Muliaman Hadad said lending could grow by 24 percent this year, as targeted by the central bank, with demand for finance supported by low interest rates.

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