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Robinsons Bank to raise P10B via bonds

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A ROBINSONS Bank branch is seen in Ermita, Manila. — BW FILE PHOTO
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ROBINSONS BANK Corp. will issue P10 billion worth of peso-denominated bonds.

ROBINSONS BANK Corp. is set to raise P10 billion in peso-denominated corporate bonds to support its lending growth, eyeing to issue the first tranche within three months.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp., the Gokongwei-led bank said it will offer P10 billion in corporate bonds in several tranches as approved by its board of directors in late April.

The two-year papers will be issued within three years and when the “market becomes favorable,” the lender said.

In a text message yesterday, Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said the first tranche of the bonds — worth about P2.5 billion — will be issued “within three months.”

“We are now organizing. We are looking at issuing within three months,” he said.

Robinsons Bank expressed its interest in issuing bonds as early as January. Mr. Sarte earlier said the bank is “considering,” although there was no approval yet.

Interest of the bank’s debt papers will be paid quarterly on a 30-360 day count. Investors can place at least P50,000 with increments of P10,000 thereafter.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp. will serve as the sole arranger of the fund-raising activity. It will also act as a selling agent alongside Robinsons Bank and other financial institutions.

Mr. Sarte said proceeds from the fund-raising activity will be used “partly to fund our loan growth and improve our long-term funding position.”

Circular No. 1010 issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in August last year simplifies the process for universal and commercial banks looking to raise funds via bonds, allowing lenders to issue fixed-rate bonds without having to secure central bank approval.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., BDO Unibank, Inc., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. and Philippine National Bank have recently issued peso-denominated bonds to diversify their funding sources and expand its businesses.

Robinsons Bank eyes to double its net income this year to P756 million from the actual P317.11 million booked in 2018 on the back of growth in its earnings from interest and fees.

The bank’s growth is expected to be bolstered by its lending activities, with demand for both commercial and consumer loans seen to “remain strong” amid easing inflation.

The Gokongwei-led bank is listed as a commercial lender and was the 19th biggest bank in asset terms with P119.6 billion as of end-2018. — K.A.N. Vidal

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