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Acleda profit falls as loan defaults rise

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A motorist drives by Acleda bank on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Acleda profit falls as loan defaults rise

Acleda Bank, which holds nearly 20 percent of the total assets of Cambodia’s banking sector, reported a net profit of $92.5 million last year, down from $127.3 million a year before.

The bank’s 27 percent drop in profit was accompanied by a rise in non-performing loans, and the bank increased its provision for loan losses from $13.6 million in 2016 to $34.2 million last year.

So Phonnary, the bank’s executive vice president and chief operations officer, said the provision for loan losses accounted for the decline in profit.

“In 2017, the price of many agricultural crops were down, lowering the income of people and affecting their ability to pay,” she said. “Clients are still paying us, but not the sufficient amount in the contract.”

“The increase of provision for loan losses alerts us that we need to strengthen our loan quality,” she added.

Acleda’s total assets grew by 12.4 percent to stand at $5.24 billion, its total loan portfolio grew 8.58 percent to $3.08 billion, and deposits grew by 6.51 percent to reach $3.33 billion. All of those growth rates were lower than the bank’s 2016 growth rates.

Meanwhile, the bank’s non-performing loan ratio spiked sharply last year, up to 2.14 percent from 0.68 percent the year before. That spike mirrors the larger trend of Cambodia’s loan market, which saw a rise in its non-performing loan rate last year, although the rate remained well within normal bounds for the region.

Acleda’s total assets grew to more than $5.24 billion last year, up 12.4 percent from the $4.66 billion total at the end of 2016, while its return on equity fell to 12.46 percent, down from 18.24 percent the year before.

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