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Getting Rid of the Rust: Three years after the Crisis, many in the Asiaweek Financial 500 are in the black. Will profitability last?

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Money and Investing: Riding the hottest financial stocks in Asia (plus the 100 hottest bank stocks)

Foreign Invasion?: Overseas banks go slow on buyouts
Technology: The nitty gritty of Internet banking
Halfway at full speed: Hong Kong and Singapore rebound
The Acquired: What Danu Bank learned form its new owner
The Home-Alone Bank: Why Taiwan's Chinatrust didn't expand

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Philippines: Not a Priority
Snapshot: 27 banks in the 500 (1999: 27) Assets: $56.4b. ($53.2b.) Profits: $155m. ($438m.)

Slower than anticipated economic recovery, political concerns and a shortage of quality borrowers have weighed heavily on Philippine banks. On the other hand, reasonably strong export figures and a bulging current account surplus make many believe the market has been given short shrift.

RESTRUCTURING The Philippines still has too many small, undercapitalized or just-plain weak institutions. The central bank has made noises about the benefits of consolidation, but the voice sounds a little squeaky in a nation wracked by bombings, kidnappings and typhoons.

LENDING There was virtually no growth in corporate lending in the first half of this year. That probably won't change in the next few months. None of the large blue chip companies are borrowing and oft-burned bankers are loathe to lend to weaklings.

REGULATION Capital requirements and banking regulations have been strengthened since the Crisis but in terms of weak banks, the Philippines has no rival — except, of course, Indonesia.

Performance Topnotchers: 10 Best Performing Banks
   Institution  HQ
$ Mill
$ Mill
Profit as % of



Assets Equity
1 METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST Manila 10,018 77.5 0.8% 6.9% 176
2 EQUITABLE PCI BANK Manila 6,321 52.0 0.8% 4.6% 227
3 BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS Manila 5,732 100.0 1.7% 13.4% 244
4 PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK Manila 5,010 -244.9 264
5 LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES Manila 4,937 15.6 0.3% 4.4% 266
6 FAR EAST BANK & TRUST Manila 3,404 15.0 0.4% 3.1% 304
7 RIZAL COML. BANKING CORP. Manila 3,096 10.1 0.3% 2.8% 314
8 UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK Manila 2,798 18.6 0.7% 6.1% 325
9 ALLIED BANKING CORP. Manila 2,356 18.1 0.8% 5.5% 349
10 CHINA BANKING CORP. Manila 1,820 20.2 1.1% 7.3% 362

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Rating show the number of banks in each category; "E" is the lowest grade for financial soundness. Souce: Moody's Investors Service

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