EAST WEST Banking Corp. is looking to raise P2 billion from its maiden bond issuance. — BW FILE PHOTO

EAST WEST Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) is looking to raise P2 billion via its maiden bond issuance of fixed-rate papers to diversify its sources of funding.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, EastWest Bank said the bonds have a tenor of three years and carry an interest rate of 4.5% per annum to be paid quarterly.

The offer period started yesterday and will close on Friday, Feb. 14.

“Through its maiden bond issuance, EastWest aims to serve its clients better by providing alternative investment products,” EastWest Senior Executive Vice- President and Treasurer Rafael S. Algarra, Jr. was quoted as saying.

“The bond issuance will also pave the way for future issuances and strengthen the Bank’s liquidity position by diversifying its sources of funding,” Mr. Algarra added.

The bonds are available for a minimum investment of P500,000 and increments of P100,000 thereafter.

They will be issued and listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. on Feb. 21.

EastWest Bank and Unicapital, Inc. will serve as the selling agents and lead arrangers for the transaction.

Last year, the lender’s board of directors had approved the issuance of up to P10 billion worth of bonds to be issued in one or multiple tranches.

The bank saw its net income grow by 43% year on year to P4.6 billion in the third quarter last year with a return of equity of 14%, “on track to achieve its most profitable year.”

EastWest Bank shares closed at P11.16 each yesterday, down by four centavos from Friday’s close of P11.20 apiece. — B.M. Laforga