BSP income surges in 1st quarter

By Lee C. Chipongian

The central bank reported a significant net income increase of P9.82 billion in the first quarter from only P1.66 billion same time in 2017.

The increase of 492 percent year-on-year was due to a higher interest income and realized gains amounting to P7 billion during the period from foreign exchange (FX) transactions. However compared to the fourth quarter 2017 net income of P12.87 billion, the latest unaudited number is lower.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) FX gains from FX rate fluctuations this year was higher compared to the P4.69 billion of the first quarter 2017 and P2.69 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

The BSP reported revenues of P14.9 billion as of end-March and this was up 18.8 percent year-on-year from P12.6 billion.

According to the BSP, “increased revenue was brought mainly by the rise in interest income on international reserves and domestic securities by approximately P3.4 billion and P400 million, respectively.”

Total expenditures, in the meantime, decreased by P3.4 billion to P12.1 billion and this was because of lower interest expenses and taxes and licenses, said the BSP.

During the period, the BSP has total assets – mostly composed of international reserves – of P4.78 trillion, 3.7 percent more than same time last year of P4.61 trillion.

Total liabilities were up three percent to P4.69 trillion as of end-March from P4.55 trillion. These are mostly deposits and currency issues and supported by higher placements in the term deposit facility, the central bank said.

The BSP’s net worth stood at P91.4 billion which was 49.6 percent higher year-on-year.

By law, the BSP has to share its gains – not losses – with the National Government, and it has to remit 75 percent of its net income to the NG, a higher amount compared to other government-owned and controlled corporations which remit only 50 percent.

Last year, the BSP reported a net income of P22.85 billion which was more than 2016’s P17.81 billion.

Before 2016, the BSP has been reporting annual losses from 2010 until 2015 due to FX losses. It had huge FX losses in 2010 until 2012 although there were some small recoveries in 2013 and 2014.