EastWest eyes up to 20% consortium stake

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EastWest Banking Corp. has received formal notification from its board to proceed with its plan to buy up to 20-percent interest in an information technology (IT) consortium that prequalified in the bidding for the Automated Fare Collection System Project of the government.

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In a regular meeting, the board of directors of EastWest granted authority to the listed bank to invest up to the maximum limit of 20 percent of the capital stock of E-trans Solutions Joint Venture Inc.

E-trans is a joint venture of TERA Investment Inc., Sagesoft Solutions Inc., Pilipinas Micro-Matrix Technology Inc., Pulsar Avancer Technologies Inc. and EastWest.

E-trans earlier prequalified in the bidding of the Automated Fare Collection System project of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Light Rail Transit Authority.

Moreover, the board of the company also authorized EastWest to subscribe to such number of shares and to make an initial payment of P1.5 million.

EastWest noted that the subscription, which is still subject to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other regulatory approvals, should not be more than 10 percent of the total assets of the bank.

The listed bank previously reported that it opened additional 10 stores in a single month as it aims to have 350 stores nationwide by 2014.

In February, the bank opened 10 more stores, bringing the number of EastWest stores to a total of 255.

The newly opened EastWest stores are located in Tondo, Manila; Kalentong, Mandaluyong City; Cubao, Araneta Center in Quezon City; Alabang in Muntinlupa City; Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Parañaque City; BF Homes in Parañaque City; Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; Legaspi Village in Makati City; Tanza, Cavite and in Asia Town IT Park in Cebu City.

The bank further clarified that EastWest’s branches are now called stores because these serve as one-stop shops that can address customers’ financial needs through a complete line of products—savings, loans, debit and prepaid cards, credit cards and investment products, among others.

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