UNIONBANK OF the Philippines, Inc. is offering about P3 billion in three-year peso-denominated bonds to raise fresh funds for expansion.

The Aboitiz-led lender is raising at least P3 billion in senior fixed-rate bonds, with an option to oversubscribe, until May 24 unless adjusted.

Jose Emmanuel U. Hilado, UnionBank senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, told BusinessWorld the proceeds from the fund-raising activity will be used to “lengthen out funding maturity profile.”

The three-year debt papers carry a coupon of six percent per annum to be paid quarterly until May 2022.

The bonds will be issued and listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. on June 3.

The notes will be sold in denominations of P100,000 and in increments of P50,000 thereafter.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. and ING Bank N.V. will serve as the joint lead arrangers and bookrunners of the transaction. The global banks also act as selling agents alongside UnionBank.

The P3-billion offer is part of UnionBank’s P20-billion bond or commercial paper program announced last year.

In December, it issued P11 billion in two-year fixed-rate bonds with a coupon rate of 7.061% per annum, larger than the initial offer size of P5 billion.

Banks can now raise fresh funds through corporate bonds, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas relaxed its rules by doing away with having to secure approval from them. BDO Unibank, Inc., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. and Philippine National Bank have recently issued peso-denominated bonds to diversify funding sources.

The ninth largest bank in the country in asset terms posted a P2.16-billion net income in the first three months of the year, down 26% from P2.93 billion recorded in the same quarter in 2018.

Shares of UnionBank closed at P61.10 apiece on Monday, up P1.10 or 1.83%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal