* H1 profit rises to 12.2 trln rupiah from 9.5 trln year ago
* Fee-based income up 18.1 pct
* Gross NPL ratio falls to 3.13 pct from 3.82 pct year ago
* To decide in 1-2 months on global bonds, loans (Adds income growth expectations, CEO quote)
By Cindy Silviana
July 19 (Reuters) - PT Bank Mandiri Tbk, one of Indonesia’s largest banks by assets, posted a 28.7 percent jump in first-half net profit on Thursday and said it expects an 18-22 percent income growth by the end of 2018.
The biggest challenge for the bank remained its liquidity issue, given the rupiah weakening and economic conditions, CEO Kartika Wirjoatmodjo told media.
“Mandiri needs 500 million USD in foreign currency,” she said. “The bank is looking at global bonds, collateral loans with other banks, and repurchase agreements as options, we will decide in 1-2 months.”
The state-controlled lender reported a net profit of 12.2 trillion rupiah ($843.1 million) for the six months ended June 30, boosted by higher fee-based income and a pickup in loan growth, its director of small businesses and network, Hery Gunardi, told reporters.
Mandiri lowered its provisioning costs by 15.4 percent from a year earlier, Gunardi said, while fee-based income rose 18.1 percent.
The gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio, a measure of bad loans, stood at 3.13 percent at the end of its second quarter of 2018 compared with 3.82 percent a year earlier. The bank was under pressure last year to tackle bad debts after posting its worst profit in five years in 2016. It slashed provisioning costs by 35 percent in 2017.
Seventeen analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S on average are estimating a net income of 25.062 trillion rupiah for Mandiri in 2018. ($1 = 14,470 rupiah) (Reporting by Cindy Silviana, writing by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)