By James A. Loyola
China Banking Corporation (China Bank), a member of the SM Group of companies, has received the highest issuer rating of PRS Aaa (corp.) from Philippine Rating Services Corporation (PhilRatings).
PhilRatings noted that China Bank is the country’s sixth-largest bank based on assets, loans, and deposits with a strong franchise in the Chinese-Filipino market.
A company rated PRS Aaa (corp.) has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments relative to that of other Philippine corporates.
“The rating takes into account China Bank’s growth strategy, which supports expansion in scale, market reach, and product base, while keeping its solid franchise on its core market; synergies with its strong shareholder and experienced management; sound asset quality; improvement in funding profile; and the favorable outlook of the domestic banking industry,” said PhilRatings.
China Bank’s core banking franchise is anchored mainly on its 98-year history in the Philippines, which started by mainly servicing the needs of the Chinese-Filipino commercial sector.
China Bank’s brand franchise continues to expand, supported by its acquisitions in recent years that reflect its goal to grow further in scale, market reach, and product base.
China Bank’s asset quality is considered sound, with gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio on a downward trend for the last two years (2016-2017), reaching a low 1.4 percent as of end-2017.