ROBINSONS Bank Corp. will offer the first tranche of its bonds next month. — BW FILE PHOTO

ROBINSONS BANK Corp. is set to raise up to P5 billion in two-year fixed-rate bonds in July to support lending growth.

Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said in a text message that the Gokongwei-led bank will offer P2.5 billion in corporate bonds with an oversubscription of another P2.5 billion “by next month.”

“We have not yet firmed up the date. Tenor will be two years & no rate yet but will be based on two-year BVAL (Bloomberg Valuation Service Reference Rate) plus a spread,” Mr. Sarte said.

The fund-raising activity marks the maiden issue of the bank’s P10-billion corporate bond program, with the proceeds expected to support loan growth and improve long-term funding position.

Interest of the bank’s debt papers will be paid quarterly on a 30-360 day count. Investors can place at least P50,000 with increments of P10,000 thereafter.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp. will serve as the sole arranger of the fund-raising activity. It will also act as a selling agent alongside Robinsons Bank and other financial institutions.

Manila-based debt watcher Philippine Rating Services Corp. (PhilRatings) assigned an issue rating of PRS Aa minus to the planned fund-raising activity with a stable outlook. This rating is a notch below the highest score.

The credit scorer took into consideration the bank’s “support from strong shareholders, its well-experienced management, more than satisfactory funding profile, the bank’s marginal, but growing banking franchise, and its modest profitability.”

“The diversity, market and financial strength of the JG Summit Group present Robinsons Bank with numerous opportunities, with the substantial size of the Group providing a captured market for the bank’s various products and services,” PhilRatings said.

The bank is 60% owned by JG Summit Capital Services Corp., while the rest is owned by Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc.

Robinsons Bank booked a P40.07-million net profit in the first three months of the year, down 56.2% from P121.57 million booked in the same quarter in 2018. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal