EastWest eyes P10 billion from debt market

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. is planning to issue up to P10 billion worth of bonds, adding itself to the list of local banks tapping the onshore debt market to raise funds.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, EastWest said its board of directors has approved the issuance of up to P10 billion worth of bonds, to be issued in one or more tranches.

However, the bank said the timing of the issuance would still be subject to market conditions.

EastWest did not provide further information on the planned fund raising activity.

In the first quarter of 2019, earnings of EastWest jumped by 36 percent to P1.29 billion in the first quarter from P945.4 million in the same period last year.

The bank attributed the increase to the resumption of its rural bank subsidiary’s Department of Education (DepEd) loan program, improved trading income, and lower credit costs.

The bank’s revenues, likewise, rose by 13.3 percent to P6.6 billion from P5.8 billion.

Philippine banks have been tapping the onshore debt market via the issuance of peso-denominated bonds as well as long term negotiable certificates of deposits (LTNCDs) to raise funds to bankroll their expansion programs and beef up their respective loan books.

Just recently, UnionBank said it has successfully raised P5.8 billion from the issuance of three-year bonds.

Listed BDO Unibank Inc. also raised P35 billion from the issuance of senior fixed rate notes due 2023 and another P7.32 billion from LTNCDs.

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) also raised P17.5 billion via the sale of fixed rate bonds due 2022 followed by Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. with P15 billion from the issuance of ASEAN green bonds due 2020.


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