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Business

Bank of Commerce eyes P3.2 billion from IPO

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star
Bank of Commerce eyes P3.2 billion from IPO
Francisco Raymund Gonzales, deputy of corporate communications and consumer protection division at Bank of Commerce, said the initial estimated net proceeds of the primary offering would be used to fund lending activities and upgrade existing ATM fleet and other technology assets to further improve customer experience.
Philstar.com / Deejae Dumlao

MANILA, Philippines — The banking arm of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is eyeing up to P3.2 billion from its initial public offer (IPO) as the bank pursues its goal of becoming a  universal bank.

Francisco Raymund Gonzales, deputy of corporate communications and consumer protection division at Bank of Commerce, said the initial estimated net proceeds of the primary offering would be used to fund lending activities and upgrade existing ATM fleet and other technology assets to further improve customer experience.

“Furthermore, as part of the bank’s long term-strategic vision, the IPO is being conducted to support its plans to obtain a universal banking license in the future,” Gonzales told The STAR.

On Monday, Bank of Commerce chief finance officer Antonio Laquindanum said in a disclosure to the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx), the bank has filed the relevant registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the registration and initial public offering of its common shares.

Likewise, Laquindanum said the corresponding application for listing of the same shares was filed with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and submission of the preliminary prospectus was made to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Latest data from the central bank ranked Bank of Commerce as the 16th largest lender in terms of assets with P181.67 billion and 17th in terms of capital with P16.2 billion in end- June. The bank’s deposit base stood at P160.66 billion, while its loan book stood at P81.48 billion.

Last August, SMC through SMC Equivest Corp. invested an additional P5.5 billion  into the bank to boost efforts  of upgrading from a commercial  to universal bank.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang earlier said the additional investments affirms the conglomerate’s optimism and strong growth outlook   in the banking sector, as well as its commitment to support Bank of Commerce in expanding its business prospects and advancing to become a universal bank.

“We’re confident that in this time of pandemic, the banking sector will be essential to our country’s economic recovery, and will provide invaluable help both to our industries and Filipinos,” Ang said in a statement.

Ang, who is also chairman and president at SMC Equivest, said Bank of Commerce could “help fulfill the needs of both businesses and consumers for loans and other financial services at this critical time.”

Prior to such subscription, SMC Equivest owned 4.69 percent of the outstanding capital stock of Bank of Commerce comprising of common shares.

The SMC Group, through real estate arm San Miguel Properties Inc. (SMPI) and San Miguel Corp. Retirement Plan (SMCRP), owns 39.94 percent of the issued shares of Bank of Commerce.

The earnings of Bank of Commerce increased by 26.3 percent to P625.72 million from January to September  compared to P495.29 million in the same period last year on the back of higher net interest income and lower expenses.

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