April 13, 2024

Bancolombia Full-Year 2019 Net Income Rises 17% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based multinational banking giant Bancolombia on February 21 reported a full-year 2019 net income of COP$3.1 trillion (US$917 million), up 17% year-on-year.

However, fourth quarter (4Q) 2019 net income dropped 46% compared to third quarter (3Q) 2019, to COP$878 billion (US$260 million), according to the company.

Gross loans in 4Q 2019 grew 4.9% when compared to 4Q 2018, while Colombian peso-denominated loans grew 8.7% when compared to 4Q 2018.

Net interest income was COP$2.84 trillion (US$840 million) for 4Q 2019, up 0.8% year-on-year, according to the company.

Annualized net interest margin for 4Q 2019 was 5.6%, up 10 basis points during the quarter but down 40 basis points when compared to 4Q 2018.

“Provision charges for the [latest] quarter were COP$1.13 trillion [US$334 million] and the coverage ratio for 90-day past due loans was 194.3%,” according to Bancolombia.

“Provision charges increased by 14.4% when compared to 4Q 2018 and by 56.3% compared to 3Q 2019. New past-due loans totaled COP$730 billion [US$216 million] for the [latest] quarter,” the company added.

“Operating expenses increased by 16.2% when compared to 4Q 2018 and 10.7% when compared to 3Q 2019. The increase in operating expenses was mainly explained by the depreciation of the peso versus the dollar over the last twelve months and higher expenses related to foreclosed assets,” according to the company.

As of December 31, 2019, Bancolombia’s assets totaled COP$236 trillion (US$69.8 billion), up 7.3% compared to 4Q 2018. “The increase in total assets during the year is largely explained by the growth in the loan book and cash,” according to the company.

Meanwhile, as of December 31, 2019, Bancolombia’s liabilities totaled COP$207.3 trillion (US$61.3 billion), down 0.3% from the end of 3Q 2019 but up 7.2% compared to 4Q 2018

“During the [latest] quarter, the COP appreciated 5.8% versus the U.S. dollar and over the past 12 months, it depreciated 0.8%. The average exchange rate for 4Q 2019 was 1.3% higher than the one in 3Q 2019 and 11% higher in 2019 when compared to 2018,” according to the company

“As of December 31, 2019, the operations in Banco Agricola in El Salvador, Banistmo in Panama and BAM in Guatemala, represented 26% of total gross loans.

“Gross loans denominated in currencies other than COP, originated by the operations in Central America, the offshore operation of Bancolombia Panama, Puerto Rico and the U.S. dollar-denominated loans in Colombia accounted for 32.8% [of all loans] and decreased by 6.8% during 4Q 2019 (when expressed in COP), explained mainly by the appreciation of the COP against the U.S. dollar during the quarter.

“Total reserves (allowances in the balance sheet) for loan losses increased by 2.9% during the quarter and totaled COP$10.9 trillion [US$ billion], equivalent to 6.0% of gross loans at the end of the quarter,” the company added.

“Deposits by customers totaled COP$157 trillion [US$46 billion] or 75.8% of liabilities at the end of 4Q 2019, increasing by 4.8% when compared to 3Q 2019 and by 10.6% over the last 12 months. The net loans-to-deposits ratio was 109% at the end of 4Q 2019 — decreasing when compared to 115.6% at the end of 3Q 2019.

“Bancolombia’s funding strategy during the last months has been to reduce the average life and cost of time deposits and promote saving and checking accounts in the consumer segment in order to keep the funding cost at a minimum. The objective is to build and maintain ample liquidity and stable margins,” the company added.

“The deterioration of the loan portfolio (new past due loans including charge-offs) was COP$730 billion [US$216 million] in 4Q 2019. Provision charges (net of recoveries) totaled COP$1.1 trillion [US$325 million] in 4Q 2019, mainly explained by some deterioration in the corporate portfolio in Central America. Also, there was an expected deterioration in the consumer portfolio in line with the growth of this segment,” according to Bancolombia.

As of December 31, 2019, Bancolombia had 31,075 employees, 16,740 banking agents, 975 branch offices and 6,169 ATMs. The company also served more than 15 million customers, according Bancolombia.

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