RCBC lists P16-B bonds

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RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. has listed its latest bond issuance. — BW FILE PHOTO

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) on Monday listed its recently issued P16.616 billion in two-year bonds meant to support its lending activities and refinance debts at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

The bonds carry a coupon of 3.25% per annum and will mature in July 2022.

“For the bank, it will be used to further support longer tenor lending activities and refinance some maturing obligations at a lower cost,” RCBC Senior Executive Vice-President and Treasurer Horacio E. Cebrero III said in a text message on Monday.

Mr. Cebrero said the listing of bonds in the secondary market will provide investors more options for medium-term investments.

“For the investors, it is providing a medium-term investment instrument with an acceptable yield relative to the low yields of short-term investments currently in the market,” he said.

RCBC raised P16.616 billion in bonds or nearly six times its initial P3-billion target earlier this month to “support the bank’s asset growth, refinance maturing liabilities, and fund other general purposes.”

The bank ended the public offer period for the two-year bonds on July 15, two days ahead of the scheduled closing date as investors swamped the offering.

“This puts us in a much stronger position to accelerate the growth of the bank and boost our financial services for wider availability,” Mr. Cebrero was quoted as saying in the bank’s statement on Monday.

The issuance was the fifth out of the bank’s P100-billion bond and commercial paper program. RCBC has raised P54.17 billion in peso-denominated bonds since last year.

“[This is] a record amount for the bank, demonstrating investors’ confidence in the various initiatives RCBC has taken to fuel its growth and support the fixed income capital market,” the lender said.

ING Bank N.V. Manila Branch served as the sole lead arranger and bookrunner for the transaction while RCBC Capital Corp. acted as the financial advisor. ING and RCBC were the selling agents.

The bank raised P7.05 billion via two-year bonds in April at a rate of 4.848%. The proceeds, the bank had said, will be used to boost asset growth and improve its liability structure.

The Yuchengco-led lender also announced its return to the dollar bond market early this month after its board of directors approved the issuance of $300 million in dollar-denominated bonds eligible as additional Tier 1 capital under Basel III requirements. The funds will be used to support its lending and green projects.

The bank’s net earnings surged 77% to P2.3 billion in the first quarter, fueled by strong core business and trading gains. Its total assets reached P715.3 billion as of March.

RCBC’s shares closed at P16.02 each on Monday, down 4.05% or by 68 centavos from Friday’s finish of P16.70 apiece. — Beatrice M. Laforga





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