Robinsons Bank to start bond offer by end-July

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By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, Reporter

ROBINSONS BANK Corp. will start its maiden peso bond offer later this month through which it is looking to raise up to P5 billion 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 two-year bonds with an oversubscription option of another P2.5 billion from July 26 to Aug. 1.

The bonds will be listed on the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. on Aug. 12.

“The bond will have a tenor of two years. Interest rate will be based on two-year BVAL (Bloomberg Valuation Service Reference Rate) with a spread of 40 to 80 bps (basis points),” Mr. Sarte said.

He added that the bank has yet to finalize the pricing of the bonds.

The fund-raising activity marks the maiden issue from the bank’s P10-billion corporate bond program. The bond issue proceeds are expected to support Robinsons Bank’s loan growth and improve its 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” with a “stable” outlook to the planned fund-raising activity. 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 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.

The bank targets to double its net profit to P756 million this year from the P317.11 million it booked in 2018 on the back of growth in earnings from interest and fees.