CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, Philippines

China Bank to finally have its own credit card

The Philippines’ China Banking Corporation will issue its first credit card next year.

The move is meant to bolster the bank’s consumer business. At present, it is the only commercial bank without its own credit card. China Bank is Philippines' fourth largest universal bank by market capitalization and one of the most profitable.

"Going forward, we will finally be able to launch our credit card busienss by 2013. We are the last major bank not to have a credit card business. We will strengthen our consumer portfolio," said Alexander Escucha, China Bank FVP and head of investor relations and corporate planning.

China Bank is also strengthening its investment banking business by helping companies sell shares and bonds and do mergers and acquisitions.

Escucha said the bank was a co-lead underwriter in the SMIC bonds and the recent San Miguel preferred share offering.

“We expect to be a lot more active in that part of business second half of year," he said.

Founded n 1920, China Bank is the first privately-owned commercial bank in the Philippines. It is also the first bank in Southeast Asia to process deposit accounts online (1969) and the first Philippine bank to offer phone banking (1988).

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