MARKETS | Tony Chua, Philippines

Bank of the Philippine Islands eyes $215mln rights issue

The move is to maintain the bank's above minimum capital ratio and to cope with 15% loan portfolio expansion.

The Ayala Group’s Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is looking to price its planned P10-billion ($215.2 million) stock rights issue later this month and launch the offer in August, BPI President and Chief Executive Officer Aurelio Montinola III said on Wednesday.

"It will open very quickly after the pricing,” he told reporters at the sidelines of an awarding ceremony for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas stakeholders.

The bank, however, is still awaiting regulatory approvals for the share sale.

Montinola said the capital-raising exercise will help keep BPI’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) at levels well above the minimum regulatory requirement of 10 percent even as it continues to lend.

This year the bank projects its loan portfolio to expand by between 10 percent and 15 percent.

“We have sufficient capital but we also see that looking forward we might as well get additional capital while the markets are good,” he said. “We’re already preparing for the next four to five years.”

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