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China Bank set to raise capital to P33 B

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has given listed China Banking Corp. the green light to beef up its capital base by P8 billion to further strengthen its capital structure.

China Bank informed the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) the BSP has approved its amended articles of incorporation and issuance a certificate of authority to reflect the higher capital stock of P33 billion from the previous P25 billion. 

The bank’s capital stock would now consist of 3.3 billion shares with a par value of P10 per share instead of 2.5 billion shares with a par value of P10 per share.

The board of directors of the bank approved the increase in capital base last March 15 and was ratified by the stockholders last May 4.

With the BSP approval, China Bank would file an application for the amendments to its articles of incorporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

China Bank senior vice president Alexander Escucha said the higher capital base would give the bank more flexibility in raising fresh equity through fund raising activities.

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“It will mainly cover issuance of stock dividends in the next few years, plus some headroom for additional capital raising if needed,” Escucha said.

Last April, China Bank raised P15 billion through a stock rights offering as it intends to become a more significant player in the country’s banking industry. It raised another P6.35 billion last June through the issuance of long-term negotiable certificate of deposit (LTNCDs)

China Bank booked a double-digit 10.1 percent increase in net income to P3.6 billion in the first half from P3.27 billion in the same period last year.

The listed bank is looking at expanding its branch footprint to 700 branches over the next five years as it actively undertakes customer acquisition and retention programs with the goal of becoming the bank of choice for clients.

For this year, the bank is set to open 50 branches in both developed and unbanked regions complemented by over 900 ATMs and other electronic banking channels.

The China Bank Group has a network of 563 consisting of 391 China Bank branches and 156 branches of thrift arm China Bank Savings (CBS).

Another Sy-led BDO Unibank Inc., the country’s largest bank, successfully raised P60 billion from a stock rights offering last January.    

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