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BDO completes sale of 15% stake in rural bank unit ONB

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BDO

BDO Unibank, Inc. said it completed the sale of a minority stake in its rural banking unit to a Singapore investment firm.

In a regulatory filing on Friday, the bank said it completed on Thursday the sale to Osmanthus Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) of a 15% stake in One Network Bank, Inc. (ONB).

BDO said in an earlier disclosure that the Osmanthus deal will further strengthen the rural bank’s foothold in microfinance.

The deal was first entered into in October.

Osmanthus is a unit of Singaporean private equity firm Archipelago Capital Partners Pte. Ltd. which invests in small- to mid-market firms in Southeast Asia.

“BDO’s partnership with Osmanthus in ONB is expected to accelerate ONB’s ongoing thrust into the micro-, small and medium enterprise (MSME) market and further extend coverage of the unbanked and underserved markets,” BDO added.




Since 2017, Osmanthus has been helping ONB develop the framework for its MSME loan business, which led to the establishment of initial test sites before the end of 2017.

“We believe in the vast potential of the MSME market in the Philippines and are committed to help ONB achieve a leading position in serving these customers,” Archipelago Capital Partners Chief Executive Officer Jovasky Pang was quoted as saying in a statement in October.

At the end of 2018, ONB was was the biggest rural bank in the country by assets with P27.3 billion, according to central bank data.

ONB operates 120 branches and over 220 automated teller machines, most of which are located in rural Mindanao.

BDO completed its acquisition of ONB in July 2015 from the Consunji group. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal