The Philippines: Dec 21 NPL ratio lowest in 11 months

  • PHILIPPINE BANKS’ end-Dec 21 nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio reached its lowest in 11 months as the economy continued to reopen and improved borrowers’ capacity to pay.
  • The industry’s NPL ratio went down to 3.99% as of end-Dec 21 from 4.35% as of end-Nov 21, based on preliminary data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP. However, it was still higher than the 3.63% at end-2020.
  • The end-December bad loan ratio is the lowest in 11 months or since the 3.72% in end-Jan 21. It is also better than the 5-6% end-2021 projection of the BSP.
  • After the Delta-driven surge in coronavirus cases that started in Aug 21, the government gradually relaxed restriction measures starting Oct 21. By Dec 21, Metro Manila and many provinces were placed under Alert Level 2, allowing businesses to operate at higher capacity.
  • The industry’s loan loss reserves reached 3.49% of banks’ loans, as compared with the 3.38% a year earlier. NPL coverage ratio at the end of 2021 stood at 87.37%.
  • The Department of Finance has earlier said 5 FIST corporations have been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission since Republic Act 11523 was passed in Feb 21.
  • The law allows banks to offload their bad assets to FIST corporations or asset management companies that will be granted tax incentives.
  • Earlier, BSP Assistant Governor Lyn I. Javier said the central bank already received 11 master list applications for nonperforming assets that can be disposed of through the law.

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