P/$ Rate Closed at P51.115 to $ 1
The peso rate closed at P51.115 to the US dollar last Friday at the Philippine Dealing System of the Bankers Association of the Philippines. The weighted average rate stands at P51.16.
Rural, coop banks' loans up
Rural and cooperative banks posted a total loan portfolio of P71.785 billion in the first three months of the year, according to the latest report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. This amount is higher compared to March last year, which was P64.835 billion. In the meantime the total non-performing assets of rural and cooperative banks stood at P16.431 billion as of end-March, from P15.286 billion in 2006. Non-performing loans, on the other hand, was P8.630 billion, higher from last year's P7.615 billion. Also as of end-March, the industry's NPL ratio was 12.02 percent, higher than last year's 11.74 percent.
TransCo sees fall in 2007 income
The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) has projected a slight drop in its income to P15 billion in 2007; but this may come after prospects of higher profit of P17 billion to P20 billion this year. The spinoff transmission firm is expecting the income rise this year from P16.2 billion in 2005 with some factors seen shoring up its earnings. The P15-billion income for 2007, according to TransCo president Alan T. Ortiz, was based on the maximum allowable revenue (MAR) approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission; and based on assumptions that no projects will be completed during the period. Yet he assured that the income cutback will not last long because "we expect level of profitability to improve again in two years time." Ortiz explained that income flow would be determined in the projects completed because this is seen translating to higher volume of power that we can deliver to customers, which in turn, will result in higher revenues. In the first half, the utility firm registered P605 million jump in its profit to P9.13 billion from last year's P8.525 billion covering the same period. TransCo's level of profitability is seen as the major enticement to prospective bidders for its 25-year concession contract to be offered by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation. This is already the third attempt for the company's privatization; of which auction date was again reset to November 7 this year from the September 27 earlier indicated in the tender notice. …