PNB raises P13.87 billion from bonds

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PHILIPPINE National Bank raised P13.87 billion from its issuance of peso-denominated bonds.

By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, Reporter

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Bank (PNB) has issued P13.87 billion worth of peso-denominated bonds, with the raised funds be used to support its lending business.

In a press briefing yesterday, the Lucio C. Tan-led bank announced it listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) its maiden offering of fixed-rate peso bonds amounting to P13.87 billion.

According to the PDEx website, the two-year peso-denominated bonds carry a coupon of 6.3% per annum to be paid quarterly until May 2021.

The lender saw an oversubscription of almost three times the announced issue size of P5 billion.

The bank was able to raise funds from about 6,200 investors sold by PNB’s 711 domestic branches.




PNB President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso said the proceeds of the fund-raising activity will be used to expand its lending business.

“As we continue to participate in the safe aggressive growth strategy of the bank, we are intending to use the proceeds to fund our expansion in the loan market, specifically opportunities in the commercial banking space,” Mr. Veloso told reporters yesterday in Makati City.

“These are opportunities in the countryside that we are very happy to participate in.”

The bank chief said previously PNB intends to grow its commercial lending book, which currently accounts 35% of the bank’s total loan portfolio.

Apart from business expansion, Mr. Veloso was quoted as saying in a regulatory filing that the bond issuance is part of the lender’s efforts to “diversify our funding sources to meet the financial needs of our growing customer base.”

Standard Chartered Bank served as the sole arranger and bookrunner of the capital raising activity. It also acted as a selling agent alongside PNB.

LOAN FACILITY
Meanwhile, PNB also announced yesterday that it closed and signed a $250-million three-year syndicated loan facility with a large group of international and regional Japanese banks.

Acting through PNB’s Tokyo branch, the local lender completed the transaction on April 24, its first foray into the Japanese market.

Mr. Veloso said there was “strong” participation from the Japanese lenders.

“As most of us were having a discussion of how PNB can be able to assist these Japanese regional banks, it was heartwarming to learn that these regional banks have already been distributing these and looking for opportunities for the past year and a half,” he said.

“Clearly, the international market, specifically our Japanese neighbors, is seriously looking at our country.”

ANZ and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group were the lead arrangers and bookrunners of the lending facility. They were later on joined by CTBS Bank (Philippines) Corp. and Mega International Commercial Bank.

PNB booked a net income of P1.9 billion in the first three months of the year, 30% higher than P1.5 billion booked in the same period last year. Assets were at P1.03 trillion as of end-March, up 21% from P854 billion a year ago.

PNB shares closed at P54.05 apiece on Wednesday, up five centavos or 0.09% from the previous finish.