East West Bank allots P700 M for expansion

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula, The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. said it is targeting to spend over P700 million to put up 100 new branches next year.

In a presentation to investors, it is on track to establish 100 additional branches this year. By early 2014, the bank expects at least 350 branches nationwide.

At present, the bank has 228 branches, 141 of which are located in Metro Manila and 87 in key provincial areas. Some 20 branches are now in various stages of construction.

The bank spends an average P7.1 million for a new branch.

As this developed, EastWest said it had successfully completed the first tranche of its long-term negotiable certificates of deposits (LTNCDs) worth P1.53 billion.

EastWest corporate planning officer Aerol Paul Banal, said they plan to issue the next tranche early next year.

The bank expects to continue the program in several tranches starting the first quarter of 2013, or as it deems necessary to fund its expansion activities, he said.

The P1.53-billion tranche forms part of the P5-billion LTNCDs the bank started to issue last month.

The LTNCDs carry a minimum maturity of five years and one day, up to a maximum of five years and six months from issue date.

Interest is on a fixed-rate basis, subject to prevailing market conditions.