Bank Central Asia’s 2012 Net Income Gains 8.3% as Lending Grows

PT Bank Central Asia, Indonesia’s biggest financial services company by market value, said profit rose last year, spurred by lending for mortgages.

Net income for full-year 2012 increased to 11.7 trillion rupiah ($1.2 billion) from 10.8 trillion rupiah in 2011, exceeding the 11.6 trillion rupiah median estimate of 28 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Mortgage loans climbed 49 percent from a year earlier, Vice President Director Eugene Galbraith said during a press briefing to announce the results.

A robust economy and low interest rates are helping to boost lending, even as the central bank imposed minimum down payments for home and vehicle loans June 15. The central bank in March held its reference rate at a record low 5.75 percent for a 13th consecutive meeting, spurring domestic consumption in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Lending increased 27 percent to 256.78 trillion rupiah mainly supported by consumer, commercial and small- and medium enterprise loans, President Director Jahja Setiaatmadja said at the briefing.

“Lending won’t be as strong as previous years, as we see problems with the exchange rate and trade balance,” Setiaatmadja said. Lending may increase about 18 percent to 20 percent in 2013, he added.

The Jakarta-based lender’s net interest income, or interest earned on loans after deducting interest paid for deposits, rose 17.6 percent to 21.2 trillion rupiah, it said in a statement distributed at the briefing.

“There’s a chance lending rates may increase starting from the third quarter due to liquidity tightening because of increasing minimum wages that will spur purchasing power, increasing inflation pressure and a weakening exchange rate,” Setiaatmadja said.

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