Security Bank posts higher net profit in the first quarter

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SECURITY BANK Corp. recorded a higher net profit in Iffirst three months of the year, supported by lower loan lossesffers and an improvement in his basic income.

The bank’s net proIft increased by 66% to reach 2.7 billion pesos Iffirst quarter, it said Monday in a filing with the local stock exchange.

This translated into a return on equity of 8.81%, while the return on assets was 1.55%. Both improved from the 5.38% and 0.96% seen a year earlier.

Net interest income rose 5% to P7 billion, although its net interest margin fell 2 basis points year-on-year to 4.19%.

Meanwhile, non-interest income rose 8% to 2.3 billion pesos.

Broken down, income from fees, service charges and commissions rose 22% to 1.3 billion pesos, driven by deposit, capital market and credit card fees.

Other income, excluding securities trading gains and commission income, more than doubled to 1 billion pesos, mainly due to the recovery of written-off assets and foreign exchange income.

Security Bank’s operating expenses rose 8% as the lender increased its investments in technology and workforce. The cost/income ratio increased to 58.96% from 57.6% a year earlier.

Gross lending rose 8% to 475 billion pesos, as 11% growth in wholesale lending offset a 4% decline in retail lending.

The bank’s gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio improved to 3.65% at end-March from 3.94% at end-December, while NPL reserve coverage stood at 90%.

As asset quality improved, Security Bank made provisions for credit losses of P80 million, down 80% from P402 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, total deposits rose 2% to 530 billion pesos at the end of March from a year earlier. This was driven by low-cost savings and demand deposits, which grew by 20% and 61%, respectively.

At the end of March, the bank’s total assets and registered capital stood at 707 billion pesos and 122.5 billion pesos respectively.

The lender’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio and its total adequacy ratio stood at 18.1% and 18.6% respectively.

Security Bank Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Vohra said he saw improved customer activity for business and home loans in the first quarter, despite Omicron’s ramp-up.

“Various macroeconomic factors unfold in the coming months including: new government policy, the war in Ukraine and central bank action on inflation. We are engaging constructively with our clients to help them navigate in the current environment,” he said.

Shares of the lender closed at P92.70 each on Monday, up 4.16% or 3.70P from the previous. Iffinished. — Luz Wendy T. Noble

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