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BPI lists SRO shares

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Shown in the photo (from left): Ayala Corporation (AC) Managing Director and CFO Jose Teodoro K. Limcaoco; AC Vice Chairman, President and COO and BPI Vice Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala; BPI President Cezar P. Consing; PSE Chairman Jose T. Pardo, PSE Directors Emmanuel Bautista and Vivian Yuchengco; PSE President and CEO Ramon S. Monzon and PSE COO Roel A. Refran.

BANK OF THE Philippine Islands (BPI) has listed 599.7 million new common shares at the local bourse following the completion of a P50-billion stock rights offer.

After the bell-ringing ceremony at the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, BPI listed the new shares priced at P89.50 apiece.

The new shares were issued to shareholders entitled to subscribe to a share for every 7.0594 common shares as of record date April 6.

The rights offer, which was conducted on April 16-25, was met with “strong support from both domestic and foreign shareholders,” resulting in an oversubscription of 22.3% as of the close of offer on April 25.

BPI’s major shareholders, including Ayala Corp., applied to subscribe for more than their pro-rata entitlements under the terms of the rights offer.

“We thank our shareholders who have supported this exercise as we pursue our growth strategy this year,” BPI president and chief executive officer Cezar P. Consing was quoted as saying in the statement.

“We will continue to aim for efficiency and profitability as we harness the burgeoning and emerging opportunities brought about by our economic growth and favorable macroeconomic conditions.”

Earlier, the lender said the fresh capital raised from the rights offer will be used to focus on “four strategic priorities” in the coming years — digitalization, deposit franchise and delivery infrastructure, small and medium enterprise and retail business and financial inclusion.

After the bell-ringing ceremony, Mr. Consing said the bank eyes to widen the share of its retail lending in its loan portfolio.

“[Our loan portfolio ratio is about] 80-20 [with the latter on retail lending]. In the next few years, we want to bring that to 70-30 to 65-35,” he told reporters, adding that it may “take a while.”

“We’re already a big retail lender. BPI Family Savings Bank, which does our retail loans for us, is very big in housing, auto and personal loans.”

Mr. Consing explained that the lender put more resources into the retail loan segment and streamline the process.

“We would like to make it easier for people to avail of those loans. We like to reduce turnaround times. We like to increase the marketing,” Mr. Consing said, adding that BPI also wants to grow its microfinance segment.

BPI Capital Corp. acted as the sole global coordinator, lead manager, sole domestic manager, domestic bookrunner and underwriter during the rights offer, while Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch, Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte. and JP Morgan Securities plc. acted as joint international bookrunners and underwriters for the offer.

In 2017, BPI booked a net profit of P22.42 billion, up 1.7%, amid net interest income of P48.04 billion.

BPI shares went down P1.60 or 1.6% to P98.25 apiece on Friday. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal