BPI FAMILY Savings Bank (BFSB) raised P9.6 billion from its maiden bond issuance, with the offer oversubscribed by more than four times.

The bonds have a tenor of two-and-a-half years and were priced on Nov. 21 at 4.3% per annum, to be paid quarterly.

This issue of fixed-rate bonds, which was BFSB’s first foray into the capital markets, was listed on Monday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx).

The bonds were initially supposed to be offered from Nov. 25 until Dec. 6. However, the offer period was cut short on Nov. 27 as the initial offer of P2 billion was met with robust demand from both corporate and retail clients.

BPI Capital Corp. served as the sole selling agent for the bonds while the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. was the sole arranger and participating selling agent. Land Bank of the Philippines-Trust Banking Group was appointed as trustee for the bond issuance.

In an earlier statement, the bank said that proceeds from the bonds will be used to “diversify its investor base and fund its asset expansion, particularly loan growth, digitization initiatives, and general corporate purposes.”

BFSB President Maria Cristina L. Go said the maiden issuance came at the “right timing” after 34 years since the thrift bank started its operations.

“We’ve been planning to really go to the capital markets maybe as early as the middle of the year. We got approval from the board to issue bonds, because there was a lowering of the reserve requirements for bonds to 3%. So in October, we got approval,” she told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of their listing ceremony held in Makati on Monday.

The papers are the first tranche of BFSB’s P35-billion bond issuance program. Ms. Go said they are looking to issue the next tranches over the next three years.

“Exactly when would be a matter of timing and where the interest rates are and how we are in terms of liquidity position. Of course, demand from the market will be considered,” Ms. Go said.

Bank of the Philippine Islands, which is BFSB’s parent firm, saw its net income rise 38.6% year on year to P8.29 billion in the third quarter. This brought the bank’s bottom line for the first nine months of the year to grow by 29.5% year on year to P22.03 billion.

BPI shares ended at P87.30 apiece on Monday, down by 4.07% from its Friday close. — Luz Wendy T. Noble