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Business

BPI raising P5 billion for MSME lending

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star
BPI raising P5 billion for MSME lending
The fund raising activity involves the issuance of BPI Reinforcing Inclusive Support for MSMEs Bonds (BPI RISE Bonds) with a tenor of 1.5 years and due on 2024.
Philstar.com / Deejae Dumlao, file

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is raising at least P5 billion through the issuance of fixed-rate bonds to boost its lending portfolio for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The fund raising activity involves the issuance of BPI Reinforcing Inclusive Support for MSMEs Bonds (BPI RISE Bonds) with a tenor of 1.5 years and due on 2024.

“The issue size has an option to upsize, subject to investor demand,” BPI said in a statement.

The bank will start offering the bonds from Jan. 9 to 20 next year, while the issue and listing date is scheduled on Jan. 30.

BPI Capital Corp. and ING Bank Manila Branch are serving as joint lead arrangers, while BPI Capital is the sole selling agent.

According to the listed bank, proceeds will be used to finance or refinance the business requirements of eligible MSMEs, consistent with BPI’s Sustainable Funding Framework.

“Support for such MSMEs is seen to be critical in the post-crisis recovery of an economy battered by high unemployment, rising inflation, and disrupted supply chains.

Under the framework, loans to MSMEs may be considered social projects eligible to be financed or refinanced by green, social, and sustainability bonds, if such loans benefit underdeveloped regions, meet the qualifications set in the Manual of Regulations for Banks of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Guidelines on the Issuance of Social Bonds under the ASEAN Social Bonds Standards in the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission.

Loans to MSMEs negatively impacted by natural calamities, with significant consequences on the people, public health, infrastructure, assets, or the economy, as well as those that support and promote underserved and under banked segments of the population, are entitled to green or sustainable financing.

The 171-year-old bank recognizes the significant contributions of MSMEs to the Philippine economy, as they account for 99.6 percent of businesses and 64.7 percent of total employment in the country.

Last May, BPI established a new P100-billion bond and commercial paper program after using up its previous P100-billion borrowing program established in late 2019.

The listed bank last tapped the onshore debt market last January when it raised P27 billion via the issuance of two-year bonds due 2024.

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