MANILA, Philippines - Listed nonbank remittance firm iREMIT, Inc. expects profits to stay flat this year with migrant workers expected to lower the volume of money they send home due to the financial crisis.
iRemit Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bansan C. Choa said the company expects net income in 2008 to have reached P150 million, a 32% increase from 2007.
"The consensus is that the number of people [sending remittances] will still be the same this year, but the amount will be smaller ... The value of the remittances they send is usually dependent on the value of the peso against the dollar," he said.
The absence of operations in the US, the source of the financial crisis, and the start of iRemit’s operations in mainland China in March will allow the company to maintain its pace last year, Mr. Choa said.
Branches will also open in Macau and Italy this year, he added.
Earlier this month, the firm said remittances handled leaped by 45% to $987 million for the 11 months of 2008, even with the global slowdown.
Overall, remittances from overseas workers reached $16.3 billion in 2008, 13.7% higher than in 2007.
The central bank has said growth in remittances through banks and nonbanks could slow down to 6% this year, or equivalent to around $18 billion with most of the world going into recession. — Don Gil K. Carreon, BusinessWorld