Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) said on Thursday its lending business is tied to the economy and expects to maintain the same level of growth last year compared to its core lending business in 2019.
Banking on the country’s economic performance, Metrobank chairman Fabian Dee said loan growth from the Ty-led lender was “tied to the economy.”
“As it appears that the GDP (gross domestic product) projections are quite healthy, we expect similar results from 2018,” Dee told reporters on the sidelines of the donation turnover of 4 million pesos. from the Metrobank Foundation to the Federation of Chinese Philippine Chambers. of Commerce and Industry (FFCCI).
The donation supports the FFCCI’s initiative to build a “Dome of Friendship” in the battle-ravaged town of Marawi and its “Operation Barrio schools”.
In the first nine months of 2018, Metrobank’s loan portfolio stood at 1.3 trillion pesos, up 15% from the same period in 2017.
The Washington-based World Bank forecasts the Philippine economy to grow 6.5% this year, while the Asian Development Bank forecasts the economy, measured by gross domestic product, to grow 6.7%.
“I think we’ll pretty much follow the growth of the economy,” Dee said.
The bank is optimistic that the story of soaring inflation in 2018 is a thing of the past.
Inflation peaked at a nine-year high of 6.7% in September and October 2018, following a steady acceleration since the start of last year. This trend prompted the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to raise its key rates five times for a total of 175 basis points, bringing the overnight borrowing rate to 4.75%.
“If you see the trend of inflation, it’s already running out of steam. So we think we have seen the highest we can reach. Looks like it’s already tempered, ”Dee said.
Inflation hit 5.1% in December, the lowest in seven months.
“We hope that this trend will continue …”, he added. —VDS, GMA News