Bukidnon rural bank sees P100-M annual growth in assets

Estelito Marabe, AHB president, said the bank has P245 million in assets as of April and that its target is to end 2008 with P300 million.

AHB has five branches in Bukidnon and another one in Misamis Oriental while its subsidiary, Hills Small Loans, has 15 branches in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

Marabe told MindaNews Bukidnon's agriculture-based economy has remained bullish despite the rice crisis as shown by the entry of more banks, particularly in Malaybalay City.
Marabe, however, said he was not buying the idea that there is a rice shortage. But he admitted that ordinary households could now barely afford the "very high prices.”
"A crisis maybe, but not necessarily a shortage," he said.

He also denied that the entry of new banks in Bukidnon has posed a threat to AHB's growth.  
He said that while the rice problem would soon affect the banking sector the AHB has carved out its own niche in the industry.

Marabe cited the bank's bias for "value-added" services and products that endear it to their clients.
He said AHB has extended loans for traditional livelihood activities such as the native bag industry in barangay Can-ayan here. The bank also pioneered the "Kiddie Savers Bank" to encourage thriftiness among schoolchildren.

He said corporations such as banks should not only operate for profit but also espouse socio-cultural responsibilities in the communities of their clients.
He said they envision a bank that sees beyond the economic needs of their clients.

He announced the creation of the Eufemio N. Marabe Foundation Inc. last month to help the company implement its own brand of corporate social responsibility.

He said minding their clientele's other needs through the foundation is their competitive advantage and a worthy investment.

"It will be our edge in the future," Marabe said on April 11 after the opening program of this year's Bansagen Art Exhibit sponsored by the Kalinawa Art Foundation backed by AHB.  (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)