EastWest Bank hikes equity in RB units
Media Title: Philippine Star
Section: Business
http://www.philstar.com
By Donnabelle Gatdula
08 September 2012


MANILA, Philippines - EastWest Banking Corp., a universal bank owned by the Gotianun family, had infused additional equity in two of its rural bank subsidiaries.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), EastWest Bank said its board, in a special meeting, approved an equity infusion of P120 million in Finman Rural Bank Inc.

Eastwest Bank also informed the PSE that it had converted a portion of its P700-million loan to Green Bank Inc. into equity.

EastWest bought 100-percent stake in Finman Bank, in June this year. Finman Bank is located in Pasig City.

In 2006, EastWest Bank bought shares at Caraga-based Green Bank which has 46 branches.

EastWest has been on the acquisition mode to boost its consumer lending business.

In 2009, it acquired the consumer finance units of AIG bundled into AIG Philam Savings Bank. In 2003, it also bought Ecology Savings Bank Inc.

After completing regulatory requirements, EastWest got its universal banking license.

In May this year, EastWest Bank listed its shares at the PSE to comply with the requirement of the BSP to offer the bank’s 10-percent stake to the public.

Specifically, EastWest Bank offered 245 million shares at the local bourse at P18.50 a piece to raise more than P5 billion to fund its expansion program in the next three years.

In late 2010, the BSP had issued a provisional license to EastWest Bank to operate as a universal bank pending its compliance with other requirements including the conduct of an initial public offering (IPO).

EastWest Bank will be pushing through with its aggressive expansion plan by putting up 100 new branches this year and another 100 by 2013. Todate, the bank has 150 branches nationwide.

By 2014, EastWest Bank is planning to have 350 branches and become the 5th largest bank in terms of network.