RAMOS-LED Anglo Philippine Holdings Corp. (APO) has approved a loan of up to P300 million to bookstore and learning supplies chain National Book Store (NBS) and Abacus Book & Card Corp. as additional funding for their operations. 

In a stock exchange disclosure on Monday, APO said the loan approved for NBS and Abacus will be at 90-day terms with an 8% per annum interest rate. NBS, which was affected by the pandemic, is also owned by the Ramos family.

“The credit line will provide short-term funding for the operations of NBS and Abacus,” the listed company said, adding that “APO recognizes this as an opportunity to manage group cash requirements by minimizing external debt risk as well as optimizing yields.”

“Should NBS/Abacus fully draw from the credit line, the same will not amount to 10% of APO’s total consolidated assets in order to be considered as a material related-party transaction,” it added.

Meanwhile, local consumer finance company BillEase said in a separate statement that it partnered with NBS to provide more payment options for easier customer shopping.

BillEase said the partnership will allow customers to shop and pay later in installments without a credit card across more than 230 NBS branches across the country.

“With this partnership, we’re not only making financial services more accessible, but we’re also underscoring the value of education. By offering an effective means to manage educational expenses, we’re essentially contributing to financial freedom, empowering individuals to invest in their learning journey,” BillEase Chief Executive Officer Georg Steiger said.

Under the partnership, NBS offline branches could now offer three cardless installment options at checkout such as pay later in 10 or 20 days; pay in four installments for small-to-medium ticket purchases; and pay monthly over three, six, nine, or 12 months for big purchases with interest rates between 0% and 3.49%.

“Our alliance with BillEase accelerates our journey, offering our customers financial freedom. Now, they can access essential educational resources and pay on their own terms, mitigating immediate financial pressures,” NBS President Adrian Paulino S. Ramos said.

Shares of APO at the local bourse were last traded on June 29 and were priced at P0.60 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave