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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines

BPI-PNB merger to create Philippines' biggest bank

Currently in a share swap talk.

The Ayala Corp., which controls the Bank of the Philippine Islands, will acquire a Lucio Tan's 60 percent stake in the Philippine National Bank.

Tan, in turn, will get a 20 percent stake in BPI.

The merger may create the country’s biggest lender by assets. 

The deal was discussed by the PNB board at a meeting on Wednesday, but could not be voted on for lack of quorum, one of the banking sources said.

Local newspapers have reported the two groups may strike a deal valuing PNB at P96 per share, a premium over the bank’s current share price. There was no immediate confirmation from PNB on this valuation.

PNB is itself in the middle of a consolidation, as it has yet to fully incorporate the operations of sister firm Allied Banking Corp. That merger was approved by the central bank in August.

BPI is now the country’s third-largest lender, with assets of P842.6 billion by the end of 2011, while PNB’s assets amounted to P316.3 billion.

The largest Philippine bank, Banco de Oro, has assets of P1.1 trillion.

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