BSP approves Lucio Co’s 37.7% stake buy in PBCom

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Businessman Lucio Co’s P.G. Holdings Inc. now owns 37.7 percent of Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom) following the central bank’s approval of a subscription agreement between the retail magnate and the bank.

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In a statement issued on Tuesday, PBCom said that the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in a resolution dated September 18, 2014, approved P.G. Holdings Inc.’s subscription to 181.08 million newly issued common shares of the bank at P33 per share.

PBCom noted that the subscription, which increases the bank’s issued shares to 480,645,164, gives P.G. Holdings Inc. a 37.7 percent stake in the bank and culminates the capital-raising activities the bank pursued earlier this year.
Co’s purchase of the primary shares has made him the bank’s single biggest shareholder.

Prior to the subscription deal, Co had also sealed an agreement to buy the shares held by ISM Communications (ISM) Corp. in PBCom. In an earlier statement, ISM said its board of directors accepted Co’s offer, through VFC Land Resources Inc., to acquire 59.24 million common shares in PBCom at P33 per share.

This means that with the subscription agreement and the acquisition of 59.24 million shares held by ISM, Co’s total stake in PBCom is now just under 50 percent.

“As we turn 75, we are keeping our sights on how we can make PBCom bigger and stronger in the years to come. Having major investors such as Mr. Lucio and Mrs. Susan Co, who sit at the helm of an expanding, diversified enterprise, provides us with a strong platform upon which to build the next 75 years and beyond,” said PBCom chief executive officer Nina Aguas.

PBCom reported net income of P190.4 million in the first six months of this year, down sharply from P1.18 billion a year earlier due to an industry-wide drop in trading gains.

Incorporated in 1939, PBCom is a commercial bank also engaged in trading government securities. As of December last year, the company had 66 bank branches and 137 automated teller machines (ATM) nationwide.

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