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ANI infuses capital in banking unit

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AGRINURTURE, Inc. (ANI) is infusing more capital in its banking affiliate Agricultural Bank of the Philippines, Inc. (ABP), as the latter expands its peer-to-peer platform and e-wallet business.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Wednesday, the listed firm said its board of directors has approved its plan to subscribe to up to P100 million worth of ABP’s preferred shares. This will increase ABP’s capital to P200 million, subject to the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The additional capital will be used to fund the expansion of ABP’s P2P platform and e-wallet business, it said in a statement.

“Through the capital infusion, ANI aims to enhance supply chain micro-finance access of Filipino farmers in remote areas using technology,” the company said. It added that the platform will allow farmers to borrow money directly using their mobile phones.

The loans obtained from ABP’s P2P platform can then be stored in the farmer’s e-wallet, to be used for purchase from ANI’s accredited merchants.

Also during its meeting, ANI’s board approved the creation of a new financial technology firm called Agri Technology Holdings, Inc. (ATHI), with an initial capital of P100 million. This is slated to complete the company’s farm-to-plate agri-eco system.

“The new subsidiary will serve as ANI’s post harvest and farm technology arm. It will also collaborate with hybrid seed producer BeiDaHuang and agri-biotech company Ocean Biotech, both ANI subsidiaries,” the company said.

ATHI’s incorporation is now pending approval with the SEC.

The company will also be taking in a new investor Takuhiro Kusumi. ANI’s board of directors has approved a P320-million subscription from Mr. Kusumi, consisting of 23.08 million shares priced at P13.86 each. The deal will be subjected to foreign ownership limits set by law.

ANI saw its earnings drop by 95% to P1.02 million during the first quarter of 2018, amid a 7.9% increase in gross revenues to P436.91 million.

Shares in ANI gained 3.7% or 52 centavos to close at P14.58 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia