Magazine article American Banker

Execs Cite Efficiencies, Strengthening Economy in Optimistic Forecasts

Magazine article American Banker

Execs Cite Efficiencies, Strengthening Economy in Optimistic Forecasts

Article excerpt

Top executives at two big western thrifts and Hawaii's biggest bank gave upbeat assessments of their companies' prospects at a Montgomery Securities investment conference here last week.

Richard J. Dahl, president of $12.6 billion-asset Bancorp Hawaii, said his company to benefit from improvements in its asset mix and growth in its trust and mortgage businesses.

Kerry Killinger, chairman and chief executive of Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc., said his company has a new five-year plan to boost return on assets above 1.2% and return on equity above 18%. At yearend 1994, these important measures of financial performance stood at 1.02% and 14.24%.

Charles R. Rinehart, chairman and chief executive of Irwindale, Calif. based H.F. Ahmanson and Co., said the company expects big efficiency gains from new technologies and a consolidation of back- office operations.

For Bancorp Hawaii, economic growth will be an important factor in increasing earnings. Mr. Dahl said his company now expects annual growth in the range of 1% in 1995 and 2% in 1996, up from the less than 0.5% growth rate of the last four years. Pacing the growth is an uptick in construction, tourism, and nondefense government spending.

"Nineteen ninety-five is turning out, we believe, to be a low point for the construction industry," Mr. Dahl said. A rebound is expected next year.

An increased focus on trust and investment management is expected to grow fees from these services by 12. …

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