BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is looking to raise P5 billion from 1.5-year bonds to be offered next month, with the proceeds to go to funding requirements for small businesses.

The papers, called BPI Reinforcing Inclusive Support for MSMEs Bonds (BPI RISE Bonds), will be offered from Jan. 9-20, with listing targeted on Jan. 30, unless the issue’s lead arrangers amend the offer terms, BPI said in a statement on Wednesday.

The bonds will be available for a minimum investment amount of P1 million and in increments of P100,000 thereafter.

They are part of the bank’s P100-billion bond program approved by its board in May.

BPI said the issue size can be increased depending on investor demand.

BPI Capital Corp. and ING Bank N.V. Manila Branch are the joint lead arrangers of the offer, while BPI Capital is the sole selling agent.

“The net proceeds of BPI’s offering will be used to finance or refinance the business requirements of eligible micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs), consistent with BPI’s Sustainable Funding Framework,” the listed lender said.

“Support for such MSMEs is seen to be critical in the post-crisis recovery of an economy battered by high unemployment, rising inflation, and disrupted supply chains,” BPI added.

MSMEs make up more than 99% of businesses in the Philippines and employ around 64.7% of the workforce, based on 2021 data from the Trade department.

BPI said under its framework, loans to MSMEs may be considered social projects that can be funded by green, social, or sustainability bonds if they benefit underdeveloped regions, meet regulatory guidelines, can be expected to support and promote underserved and underbanked segments of the population, or benefit those negatively impacted by natural calamities.

The Ayala-led bank booked a net income of P10.1 billion in the third quarter. This brought the bank’s bottom line for the first nine months to P30.5 billion, backed by higher revenues and lower provisions for loan losses.

BPI shares went down by P3.80 or 3.70% to end at P99 each on Wednesday. — AMCS