MANILA, Philippines - Asia United Bank (AUB), the publicly-listed banking unit of the Rebisco Group, is planning to add 44 new branches this year in an effort to reach out to more customers as well as maximize its online and mobile banking platforms.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, AUB said it opened 56 additional branches in 2013. Combining those of its two rural bank subsidiaries, the AUB Group now has 178 branches (including the six branches and five micro-banking offices of Rural Bank of Angeles and the four branches of Cavite United Rural Bank).
The bank said its wider network enabled it to sustain deposit growth of 56 percent to P73.9 billion in 2013 from the previous year, and by 11 percent to P81.9 billion during the first quarter of 2014 versus the fourth quarter of 2013.
AUB’s successful initial public offering in May 2013, which raised P7.44 billion, funded its loan releases, branch expansion, and investment in IT infrastructure.
During the first three months of 2014, AUB’s gross interest income increased 51 percent to P1.1 billion from the year-ago level.
Its net interest income rose 68 percent to P910.8 million during the period on account of the 51-percent growth of its loan portfolio to P52.5 billion, and the 63-percent climb in its treasury assets to P29.6 billion.
On the other hand, non-interest income fell 77 percent to P145.3 million due principally to lower trading gains.
This was despite the 91.4-percent increase in the bank’s service charges, fees, and commissions to P177 million.
The decline in trading gains, combined with the higher operating cost of branch expansion, dragged the bank’s net income 62 percent to P205.3 million in the first quarter 2014 from the year-ago level.
Its total resources as of March 31, 2014 grew 59 percent to P112 billion from a year ago.
AUB president Abraham T. Co said the sustained robustness in the bank’s loan portfolio and low-cost deposits are two of the reasons he remains confident that, in spite of the slowdown in treasury activities, 2014 will be a “good year.”