MANILA, Philippines - Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands on Tuesday said its net income plunged 57 percent to P3.6 billion in the first quarter of the year.
BPI had posted a net income of P8.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013, when it had recorded "extraordinary gains" in trading securities of P5.719 billion.
In the January to March period this year, BPI reported its net interest income hit P8.14 billion, 15 percent higher than year-ago figures. Non-interest income, excluding securities trading, grew 16 percent to P4.26 billion.
Due to the volatile interest rate environment, BPI reduced its VAR-sensitive trading portfolio in the first three months of the year.
Amid reduced trading, BPI's core lending and deposit businesses grew significantly. Net loans were up 25 percent to P641.7 billion, while total assets rose 29 percent to P1.21 trillion. Total deposits surged 32 percent in the first quarter to P993 billion.
"Trading results were not surprising given the interest rate environment and the cutbacks in risk appetite and stronger focus on client business. We are very excited about our business pipeline for the rest of the year. We will focus less on proprietary trading, while reinforcing our interest and non-trading franchises, as well as the infrastructure that supports them," BPI president and CEO Cezar Consing said.
In 2013, BPI said its net income jumped 15% to P18.8 billion.