Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK)

THE LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) expects to ink the share purchase agreement (SPA) with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) for the sale of its stake in the country’s fixed income-bourse this week.
LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer Alex V. Buenaventura said the bank received on Monday the non-disclosure agreement signed by PSE, which is a prerequisite before proceeding with further negotiations on the SPA.
Asked for the next steps, Mr. Buenaventura said: “Most likely we will sign the share purchase agreement [with] PSE before the weekend.”
Asked if it received responses from other PDS stakeholders on their offers, Mr. Buenaventura said: “none yet.”
The PSE has yet to respond as of press time to queries on whether it has dropped its plan to acquire the fixed income exchange.
However, PSE Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran said in April that the local bourse is still keen on the PSE-PDS merger.
PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon also said earlier that the bourse has no plans to engage in a “bidding war” with the government once LANDBANK proceeds with its offers.
PSE currently has a 20% stake with the PDSHC, while LANDBANK has 1.56% through the Bankers Association of the Philippines, which holds a cumulative 13.26% share for itself and its member-banks.
The state-run lender is seeking to get at least a 66.67% stake in the bond exchange and has made series of purchase offers to other stakeholders since March for P360 apiece.
Talks to unify the PSE and the PDSHC began in 2013. The PSE secured a 72% share earlier this year through SPAs with other stakeholders, but all lapsed on March 31.
This is because it failed to secure from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exemptive relief from the 20% single industry ownership cap before the expiry date, as it failed to meet another condition to dilute broker ownership to less than 20%.
Only one unidentified stakeholder renewed its agreement with the PSE last month.
LANDBANK wants to acquire the exchange as it wants to expedite the development of the capital market, and that acquiring the fixed-income exchange would be favorable for its financial position.
LANDBANK’s income reached P5.068 billion in the first four months of the year, up 26% from P4.038 billion in the same period in 2017, breaching its P5.042 billion target. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan