BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has approved a new P100-billion bond program to help diversify its funding sources and boost its sustainability drive.

During a regular meeting held on May 18, BPI’s board approved the issuance of up to P100 billion in notes under its new peso-denominated bond and commercial paper program.

“The objective of the program is to diversify the bank’s funding sources and support, when possible, the bank’s sustainability strategy,” the bank said in a filing with the local bourse on Thursday.

The BPI’s new fundraising program is at the same level as the one approved in 2019.

The bank’s latest P27-billion two-year bond issuance in February fell under the program approved in 2019. Proceeds from that fundraising exercise were set to be used to fund its corporate needs and for digitalization initiatives.

Meanwhile, BPI Head of Consumer Banking and Executive Vice- President Maria Cristina “Ginbee” L. Go said the bank is looking to launch a wealth management app by the second half of the year.

BPI customers with at least P1 million worth of transactions with the lender will have access to investment options via the app, Ms. Go said at a press briefing in Makati on Wednesday.

She added that customers have become increasingly at ease with online transactions amid the pandemic.

BPI’s net income rose by 59.6% to P8 billion in the first quarter, driven by higher interest earnings and lower loan loss provisions as asset quality improved.

The bank’s shares closed at P95.90 apiece on Thursday, down by P1.10 or 1.13%. — KBT