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BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Philippines
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Aggressive Philippine bank continues M&A spree

Asia United Bank has completed the acquisition of its third Philippine bank in three years.

The medium-sized commercial bank last week took over the banking license, the banking assets and liabilities of Asiatrust Development Bank. Asiatrust reported to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it had permanently closed and ceased banking operations pursuant to an asset sale and purchase agreement with AUB.

Effective June 18, all of Asiatrust’s 28 branches began operating as AUB’s branches. AUB’s takeover of the thrift bank supported its goal of becoming a stronger and more formidable banking industry player.

The acquisition of Asistrust increased the total resources of AUB by more than US$94 million and expanded its nationwide network to 102 branches.

In a span of three years, AUB has acquired the Rural Bank of Angeles in Pampanga province to increase its presence outside Metro Manila; the Cooperative Bank of Cavite (which is awaiting approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) and Asiatrust.

AUB had total assets of US$1.18 billion and a capitalization of US$235 million as of this March. It increased its first-quarter profit by 126% year-on-year to US$9 million, mainly on gains in securities trading.

AUB was organized by Filipino industrialists and Taiwanese banks. It is jointly owned by the Filipino company, Republic Biscuit Corporation; Lambda Holdings, China United Trust & Investment Corporation, China Development Industrial Bank, Magis Equity Ventures and some individuals.

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