BANK of the Philippine Islands closed its COVID bond offer ahead of schedule as the instruments attracted strong investor demand. — BW FILE PHOTO

BANK OF THE Philippine Islands (BPI) has cut short the offer period for its COVID Action Response (CARE) bonds on strong demand.

BPI said in a filing with the local bourse on Thursday that the offer period for the CARE bonds ended on July 8, ahead of the original end date of July 17 “as subscriptions in support of the country’s maiden COVID response bonds exceeded the initially planned issue size of P3 billion.”

The bank declined to give more details about the issuance when asked.

The bonds have a tenor of 1.75 years and carry a coupon rate of 3.05% per annum paid quarterly in arrears.

The papers are set to be issued and listed at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. on Aug. 7.

The bonds form the third tranche of BPI’s P100-billion bond program. The papers are also qualified as social bonds under the ASEAN Social Bonds Standards in the Philippines.

“Proceeds of the CARE Bonds will be used by the bank to finance and refinance eligible Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under BPI’s Sustainable Funding Framework,” BPI said.

The minimum investment for the bank’s bonds was set at P1 million and in increments of P100,000 thereafter.

BPI Capital Corp. served as the sole selling agent for the bonds while The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC) was a participating selling agent. BPI Capital and HSBC were the lead arrangers for the issue.

BPI in March sold P33.9 billion in bonds, more than six times the initial offer size of P5 billion.

The bank’s net income declined five percent to P6.39 billion in the first quarter from the P6.72 billion booked a year ago.

BPI’s shares closed at P72.20 apiece on Thursday, down by P2.30 or by 3.09% from its previous finish. — L.W.T. Noble