CHINA BANKING Corp. (China Bank) is looking to raise $2 billion in fresh funds via euro bonds to support its operations, it said on Thursday.

The lender said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday that its board of directors approved on Wednesday the establishment of a $2-billion euro medium-term note program.

China Bank said the program will let it tap demand abroad for local issuances.

“The proceeds of this program will be used to support the bank’s general funding requirements,” it said.

“The euro-medium term note program gives the bank the agility to tap the offshore markets quickly when presented with the right market conditions. This widens our range of funding options,” China Bank Senior Vice-President and financial markets segment head Magnolia Luisa N. Palanca said via Viber. Further details were not available on Thursday.

China Bank said in February that the central bank approved its planned issue of P15 billion in unsecured subordinated debt qualifying as Tier 2 capital under Basel III requirements.

The lender last year established a P75-billion bond program to raise funds for its operations. It raised P30 billion via its maiden issue of peso fixed-rate bonds in July 2019.

China Bank booked an attributable net income of P3 billion in the second quarter, higher than the P2.33 billion it posted in the same period a year ago. This was on the back of better net interest income, even as it increased its loan loss provisions in anticipation of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its asset quality.

This brought the bank’s first-half net earnings to P5.22 billion, up from P4.19 billion a year ago.

Shares in China Bank closed at P20.85 apiece on Thursday, up by 25 centavos or 1.21% from the previous day. — K.K.T. Jose