Chinabank tally record-high

Chinabank is among the best-governed publicly listed companies and best employers in the country. | Photograph courtesy of Chinabank

China Banking Corp. saw profits soar to P22.0 billion in 2023, solidifying its position as one of the top four banks in the country.

Bolstered by higher core business revenues, the bank’s net income increased by 15 percent from 2022 and translated to a return on equity of 15.5 percent and return on assets of 1.6 percent — still among the best in the industry.

Net interest income rose 17 percent to P53.5 billion as the strong growth in loans and investments offset the significantly higher interest expense. Net interest margin was maintained at 4.2 percent.

With the improving economic conditions, the bank reduced loan loss provisions to P1.2 billion. Asset quality was stable with a 2.5 percent non-performing loan ratio while NPL coverage remained sufficient at 104 percent.

Operating expenses were 11 percent higher at P27.0 billion on bigger volume-related taxes and heavier investments in manpower and IT.

Simultaneously, substantial overhauls are underway within Chinabank’s IT architecture as an integral component of its ongoing digital transformation endeavors. Cost-to-income ratio was at 50 percent.

Chinabank president and CEO Romeo Uyan Jr.: “We remain focused on executing our business strategies while leveraging our investments in digitalization to deliver better services to our customers.”

Total assets hit P1.5 trillion, up 11 percent, still the fourth-largest among privately-owned domestic banks.

Gross loans grew by 10 percent to P791 billion, with the share of consumer loans to the total loan portfolio now at 23 percent. On the funding side, total deposits rose 11 percent to P1.2 trillion with CASA ratio at 48 percent.

Total equity stood at P150 billion, up 12 percent, with capital ratios well above the regulatory minimum: 15.3 percent common equity tier 1 ratio and 16.1 percent total capital adequacy ratio. Book value per share was at P55.82, up 12 percent.

“Our continuous drive for operational efficiency and the strong client demand for our services underpin our solid financial performance in 2023. We will continue to strengthen our business fundamentals and capabilities to sustain our growth momentum in the coming years,” Chinabank chief finance officer Patrick D. Cheng said.

Chinabank is among the best-governed publicly listed companies and best employers in the country, winning the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Five-Golden Arrow award for the second time in 2023, and the People Management Association of the Philippines’ 2023 Employer of the Year.

The bank also received international recognition as among the most innovative companies and among the best in the private banking sector: Gold Award for Product Innovation from Infosys Finacle, Big Shift Champion of the Year award from Backbase, and Outstanding Wealth Management Service for the Affluent award from Private Banker International.