By: Jun Vallecera
June 27, 2012 (Business Mirror)
MAKATI-HEADQUARTERED Esquire Financing Inc. forecasts domestic interest rates to stabilize throughout the year, no matter global events tending to unsettle markets and likely forcing central banks like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to make appropriate adjustments.
The stable outlook forms part of Esquire’s business plans this year under which it looks to disburse total loans of P3 billion.
Rajan Uttamchandani, Esquire Financing president and chief executive officer, said in a briefing the local financial system is very liquid and small and medium scale entrepreneurs forming its core clients look to expand their activities through financing.
Esquire Financing takes pride in its services being not only fast and uncomplicated but also flexible and tailored to its client needs, Uttamchandani said.
While banks typically process loans over a 90-day period, Esquire Financing can make a decision in just seven days, the financing executive said.
As a nonbank financial corporation, extends basically the same financial services offered by any bank except that these services are delivered to customers without accepting deposits, the executive said.
According to him, Esquire Financial typically disburses loans averaging P1million costing between 2 percent to 3 percent a month over a one-year horizon.
The bulk of the financing company’s loans are short-dated and they have the infrastructure to disburse so-called clean or uncollateralized loans as small as P50,000 and as high as P50 million.
Such loans, Uttamchandani said, could cost borrowers between 9 percent up to 12 percent to amortize in a year.
According to him, Esquire has a customer base of some 800,000 individual borrowers, mostly SMEs, and only a small fraction of around 1 percent represents the large corporate borrower.
He also said the default rate since they started operating in April last year had been very low at less than 1 percent of total portfolio or much better than the large commercial banks whose soured or non-performing loans equal more or less 3 percent.
Esquire’s Philippine unit forms part of the Esquire Group of Companies founded by Albert Uttamchandani in 1974 that engages in financing the activities of micro or large institutional borrowers.
It has presence in Hong Kong, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.