JAKARTA Feb 10 (Reuters) - Bank Mandiri, Indonesia's largest bank by assets, reported a 17.4 percent rise in 2013 net profit and said it planned to make acquisitions in the financial sector.
Indonesian banks are facing slow loans and net profit growth this year due to tighter liquidity and restrictions from the central bank.
Bank Mandiri posted net profit of 18.2 trillion rupiah ($1.5 billion) in 2013 compared with 15.5 trillion a year earlier, higher than the average estimate of 17.2 trillion in a Reuters poll of 21 analysts. Loan growth grew 21.5 percent to 472.4 trillion rupiah this year.
"Earnings growth in 2013 wasn't as good as the year before because macroeconomic conditions were not as good," Chief Executive Budi Gunadi Sadikin told reporters on Monday. "High interest rates pressured our interest margin, while credit growth was not as high as 2012."
He said the company had allocated up to 10 trillion rupiah for acquisitions this year. "Indonesia needs a bigger bank, so we are ready to acquire large-scale financial institutions," he added, without elaborating.
As of end of last year, the lender operated 2,050 branches and 11,514 ATMs.
Shares in Mandiri fell 0.28 percent to 8,750 rupiah at Monday's close, slightly outperforming the main Jakarta index which dropped 0.43 percent and the Indonesian banking sector index which was down 0.56 percent.
($1 = 12,160 rupiah) (Editing by Pravin Char)