Officials from East West Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) and its parent unit, Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) denied rumors the bank is being sold to another lender.

“FDC is not in any discussion nor does it plan to, with regards to any potential sale of EastWest Bank.” FDC CEO Josephine Gotianun-Yap was quoted as saying in a filing by EastWest Bank on Tuesday.

Ms. Gotianun-Yap said they have been receiving queries from the media regarding the rumor.

“EastWest Bank is one of the pillars of FDC. We remain very positive with its consistent high performance and we believe it is well positioned to continue to grow and sustain its track record of being among the most profitable listed universal banks in the industry,” she said.

Meanwhile, Eastwest Bank Chief Executive Officer Antonio C. Moncupa, Jr. confirmed both local and foreign entities have been reaching out to EastWest Bank as possible new investors.

“I guess some sectors are attracted to EastWest’s unique business model and consistent high profitability record,” Mr. Moncupa was quoted as saying.

“But, no. We think that our stockholders will be better served if EastWest first optimized its potential as an independent company,” he added.

The bank’s net income surged 75% year on year to P2.3 billion in the January to March period despite allotting loan loss provisions worth P2.4 billion, 2.8 times higher than last year.

Its shares closed at P7.78 apiece on Tuesday, down by 55 centavos or by 6.60% from its previous finish. — L.W.T. Noble