UnionBank sets up P30-B fund-raising program

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UnionBank
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UNIONBANK OF THE Philippines, Inc. is set to offer P30 billion worth of corporate bonds or commercial papers to raise funds.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Tuesday, the Aboitiz-led lender said its board of directors approved during its Feb. 22 meeting the issuance of corporate bonds or commercial papers amounting to P30 billion.

UnionBank has yet to establish the timetable and other details of the issuance.

The bank’s P30-billion fundraising program will be on top of its P20-billion peso bond and commercial paper program approved in August 2018.

Of the P20 billion, P11 billion was already raised in December though a fixed-rate bond issuance. The two-year debt papers carry a coupon rate of 7.061% per annum to be paid quarterly.

UnionBank Chief Financial Officer Jose Emmanuel U. Hilado, in a previous disclosure, was quoted to have said that the fixed-rate bond issuance late last year will “help support our strategic business expansion plans, while providing a new shorter-dated investment instrument to our institutional and retail clients.”

Circular No. 1010 issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in August 2018 simplifies the process for universal and commercial banks looking to raise funds via bonds, aligning the industry with standards for other privately-owned firms.

The reform forms part of BSP’s streamlined rules designed to help deepen Philippine capital markets.

Apart from UnionBank, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Bank of the Philippine Islands, as well as BDO Unibank, Inc. have recently peso-denominated instruments to diversify funding sources and expand its businesses.

Security Bank Corp. and Philippine National Bank have also established their own peso-denominated bond programs worth P50 billion and P100 billion, respectively, to be issued through tranches.

Meanwhile, the bank also said in the disclosure that UnionBank President and Chief Executive Officer Edwin R. Bautista will remain at the helm of the lender, as his term of service was extended until 2022.

UnionBank shares closed at P61.55 apiece on Tuesday, down 45 centavos or 0.73%. — KANV





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