RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Philippines

EastWest Bank targets 2012 IPO

Yet the realization of the move still depends on the health of US and European economy.

EastWest Bank, the banking arm of the Filinvest Group, may hold an initial public offering next year, or once the uncertainty in the US financial markets clears up.

“If the market is good, we already have the base to go public. It’s just a matter of timing,” East West Bank president and chief executive Antonio Moncupa Jr. told reporters during the launch of the bank’s free gas promo for auto loan clients Friday.

“I think after two years of track record, you can examine that the portfolio is good. Everything seems to be in place. I think we can,” he said.

Going public or listing at the Philippine Stock Exchange is one of the preconditions before a bank can operate as a universal bank. EastWest Bank now has a capitalization above the Bangko Sentral’s requirement for a universal bank.

Moncupa said the economic uncertainties prevented the bank from going public this year. “The problem is that the US is moving up and down. It’s direction-less. Whether we like it or not, the US dictates the world,” he said.
He said the bank might hold the IPO in 2012, depending on the recovery of the US market.

View the full story in Manila Standard Today.

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