LAND BANK of the Philippines expects to buy more shares in the fixed-income bourse once the two have signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) in the coming weeks.
Alex V. Buenaventura, the state-run bank’s president and chief executive officer, said the signing of the SPA with the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDSHC) had been pushed bank because of “internal procedures.”
Hindi pa (Not yet). We have procedures in finalizing it,” he said in an interview during a reception hosted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Friday.
Earlier this month, Mr. Buenaventura said shareholders representing 43% of PDSHC had accepted the bank’s offer to buy the bourse’s shares, with the SPA expected to be signed around that time.
He said that the lender had not received additional sellers who wish to sell their shares in PDSHC.
Wala pang (There are no) additional sellers on top of the 43% that we got three weeks ago,” he said.
He noted that shareholders had signed nondisclosure agreements to proceed with further negotiations before the SPA for shares in the PDSHC is finalized.
The bank’s chief executive added that he expects the SPA to be signed within the next two weeks as the sellers are getting weary.
“I don’t want to give a deadline but for me, my deadline is within the next few weeks because the sellers are getting apprehensive,” Mr. Buenaventura said.
“I personally hope that we can do this within the next two weeks.”
In June, the bank said the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), which had earlier planned to take over the PDSHC, has indicated interest in selling its shares.
The bank offered to buy the shares in the fixed-income market at P360 per share, higher than the PSE’s P320 apiece offer in its previous SPAs that already lapsed.
However, only one shareholder has accepted the bank’s offer in April. Mr. Buenaventura said that once PSE agrees to the terms, others may follow.
The government wants to take at least a majority stake in the fixed income bourse through the bank to expedite the development of the capital markets and to improve the bank’s finances to deliver more robust credit for farmers and small enterprises.
The state lender currently owns 1.56% of PDS through the Bankers Association of the Philippines, which holds a cumulative 13.26% share for itself and its member banks.
The planned PSE-PDS merger had dragged on due to the PSE’s failure to secure exemptive relief from the Securities Exchange Commission on the 20% single-industry ownership limit. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal