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Metrobank reports Q3 net income of P11-B (up 38% y/y)

Metrobank [MBT 52.00 unch; 48% avgVol] [link] posted a Q3 net income of P11 billion, which is 38% higher y/y from its Q3/22 net income of P8 billion, and 7% higher q/q from its Q2/23 net income of P10.4 billion. Net interest income was up 20%, and net loans were up 1.19% (up P16.9 billion) driven by the growth in MBT’s consumer loans and credit card portfolios.

MB bottom-line: Banks do well when interest rates go up. The big baddies in the banking sector, BPI [BPI 98.90, down 0.1%; 260% avgVol] and BDO [BDO 128.50, down 0.4%; 55% avgVol], have both seen their stock prices increase 14% and 19%, respectively, over the past two years, while MBT lags significantly behind the pair with only a 7% gain over the same span of time. While BPI and UnionBank [UBP 59.20, down 0.5%; 7% avgVol] have grabbed headlines with big acquisitions to drive growth, MBT’s conservative strategy of driving organic growth through expansion of its loans portfolio hasn’t been as bombastic, but the results of that effort are still worth noting. MBT’s loan book expansion is considerable, but the robust increases in the bank’s consumer and credit card segments feel ominous to me. The further we get from the COVID crash, and the deeper we get into this inflation crisis, the more we hear of regular people needing to borrow to make ends meet. There are many stories in my orbit of business owners reporting big increases in the number of employees requesting bale to make monthly payments, pay for tuition, or buy food. I’ve been sounding this consumer credit alarm for a while now, and while the expansion of the consumer loan books would seem to validate what I’m seeing on the ground, the nature of that expansion (to make ends meet, not fund sustainable consumption) would suggest (to me at least) that there be some reckoning in the future, and to this point, that reckoning has not shown itself. Or maybe it has, but I don’t have the skill, knowledge, or experience to see it.


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