Sy-led BDO Unibank Inc. on Wednesday said it set to grow its loans by as much as 10% this year, albeit with cautious optimism, following the growth recorded in the first three months of the year.
According to BDO president and chief executive officer Nestor Tan, loan growth for the year is projected at 8% to 10%, after gross customer loans climbed by 8% to P2.6 trillion in the first quarter.
Asked to provide profit guidance for the year, Tan said the firm will await stabilization, as he said the conditions make it difficult to do so currently.
“At the moment it’s so difficult. I mean look at 2022. We opened up with exuberance and then after five weeks, we went into a lockdown. That’s why I’m always cautious about even our own approach to business,” he said.
This comes even as the Monetary Board of the BSP has already hiked key policy rates by 425 basis points since May 2022, with the latest being a 25-basis point increase that took effect on March 23 to bring the benchmark rate to 6.25%.
BDO ended the first quarter of the year with a P16.5-billion net income, as net interest income grew to P43.4 billion, while its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio improved to 1.98% from 2.72% the previous year.
Moving forward, Tan said BDO expects sustainable growth in fee-based businesses, its wealth management to continue positive momentum, and continue to have provisions more than adequate to cover for potential losses.
The bank is also rolling out new digital capabilities, with investments primarily focused on three main areas — cybersecurity, operating infrastructure, and product capacity.
The company currently has over 1,600 consolidated operating branches and over 4,600 automated teller machines (ATMs) across the country. It also has 16 international offices including in Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
Shares in BDO were trading up by P1.30 or 1.02% at P129.20 as of 1:53 p.m. on Wednesday.—AOL, GMA Integrated News