MANILA: The Philippine banking sector’s net profit dropped 34.7% in the first half of the current year from a year ago as local banks suffer from trading losses. The country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), said the whole industry’s net profit in the first six months of 2014 reached only Php63.7bn (USD1.42bn) after earning Php97.7bn (USD2.17bn) a year ago. The BSP, however, assured that the country’s financial system is still strong and healthy despite the slowdown of the Chinese economy and the US normalization policy that have resulted in market uncertainties. The central bank said moderate upward movement of domestic interest rates resulted in revaluation and mark-to-market losses in the trading books of local banks.
The Philippines had 664 operating banks, 9,456 bank branches, 14,843 ATMs, 328 microfinance banking offices and 245 banks with e-banking services at end-June.