China Banking Capital secures SEC approval

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China Banking Corp. (China Bank) has secured an approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish its investment house, China Banking Capital Corp.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), China Bank said it got the SEC go-signal on November 27.

Last May, the bank owned mainly by tycoon Henry Sy obtained an approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for its P500-million investment in China Bank Capital, to provide capital raising, merger and acquisition, financial restructuring, debt and securities underwriting, and economic advisory services to all types of public and private companies.

Through its investment banking group, China Bank has been serving corporate clients in the past two years, being the issue manager, lead arranger or manager or underwriter of some landmark deals, such as term loans of Philippine Airlines ($141 million) and Cebu Pacific ($140 million) in 2013; retail bonds of SM Prime Holdings Inc. (P20 billion) and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (P15 billion) in 2014; as well as the fixed rate bonds of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (P24 billion) this year.

The investment banking group will be a part of China Bank Capital.

In the first nine months of 2015, China Bank’s net income rose 8 percent to P3.64 billion, which is on track with its targets to grow profits by 10 percent by end-2015.

As of end-September, China Bank—the fifth largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets—is operating 493 branches nationwide, including 165 China Bank Savings (CBS) and Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank) branches. Earlier, the BSP approved the merger of its units CBS and Plantersbank.

China Bank is an affiliate bank of the Sy-led SM Group. The bank mainly caters to the small and medium enterprises (SME) market, having arms Plantersbank and CBS for a stronger footprint in SME segment.

Also on November 27, China Bank appointed Romeo D. Uyan Jr. as the president of the new investment banking subsidiary.

“Romy’s extensive international experience and investment banking expertise is key to the success of China Bank Capital and strengthening China Bank’s presence in the capital markets space,” China Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Chua said in a separate statement.  “As a key member of the China Bank management team, he is a vital contributor in our various new initiatives.”

Uyan has been an investment banker for the past 20 years, with experience in wealth management, trading, research, and financial structuring in the Asia Pacific region.  He has just served as managing director and co-head of special situations and leverage capital markets of UBS AG-Singapore Branch.

“We are very happy to have a man of Romy’s caliber and experience as we build on China Bank’s competitive advantages,” Chua said.

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