Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU Macau, pertaining to Portugal’s state-held Caixa Geral de Depósitos financial group) closed the first half of 2016 with year-on-year growth of 17 percent in net results, which amounted to 278.57 million patacas (US$34.8 million), said its chief executive officer Pedro Cardoso.
Cardoso told the Macauhub agency on Monday that all key banking business indicators showed improvements when half-years were compared. He highlighted, for example, the indicator for the ratio between support staff and employees who deal directly with clients, which has been falling steadily and is currently 1.03.
The number of clients increased year-on-year by 4.5 percent to this half-year’s figure of 217,400, virtually a third of Macau’s population. Increases were posted for products per active client (up 6.1 percent to 3.46), turnover (up 16.9 percent to 91.155 billion patacas), deposits (up 25.3 percent to 51.557 billion patacas) and loans (up 7.5 percent to 27.259 billion patacas).
Cardoso also said that in the first half-year non-performing loans represented only 0.17 percent of credit granted, versus 0.50 percent during the same period of 2015, that financial margin was up 13.5 percent to 382.3 million patacas and that operating expenses grew by just 2.8 percent to 149.9 million patacas. He highlighted that the cost/revenue ratio had fallen to under 30 percent, standing at 29.99 percent at the end of June.
These figures are all the more relevant when compared to those for the first-half of 2012, “when our transformation plan began,” the BNU CEO explained.
For example, when net results are compared between the first half of 2012 and the same period of 2016, they show growth of 87.2 percent (from 148.7 million to 278.5 million patacas), with loans overdue for more than 90 days down from 1.79 percent to the current 0.17 percent and the cost/revenue ratio down from 45.49 percent to the current 29.99 percent.
Cardoso said that one business segment the bank was “nurturing” was that of business clients from Portugal and linked to Portugal who establish companies in Macau and China. From one half-year to the next it recorded growth of 86 percent, “though it only accounted for 2 percent of turnover during the period.”
The CEO of BNU Macau also highlighted the fact that the institution, which in Macau shares the function of issuing bank with the Bank of China, is one of the three major Portuguese banking operations overseas, the other two being that of Banco Comercial Português in Poland, with Millennium Bank, and that of Banco BPI in Angola, with Banco de Fomento Angola.
Specifically regarding activity in Macau, after being asked to envisage what would happen by the end of the year, Cardoso said that the economic climate “is challenging” and that BNU Macau should post only single-digit turnover growth.
“We think there will be some beneficial results to reap in 2017 and that they will be much more substantial in 2018, with the opening of the bridge linking Zhuhai to Macau and Hong Kong,” he added.
Cardoso also mentioned the near-future opening of a branch on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai municipality, thereby plugging an existing gap. “We can support hundreds if not thousands of clients who have investments in China and which BNU Macau could never properly support. Now we’ll be able to do so by having an established presence in mainland China.”
“According to the Chinese authorities BNU Macau will be the first ‘triple’, i.e. the first Macau bank to set up a branch on Hengqin, the first bank that is part of an international banking group to establish itself on that island and the first Macau bank to be established under the CEPA agreement, which will be able to begin operations in renminbi [Chinese currency] immediately, without any limits,” Cardoso said.
BNU Macau currently has a workforce of 480 employees and 19 branches, which should rise to 20 by the end of the year. (Macauhub/CN/MO/PT)