EastWest secures BSP nod to redeem P1.5-B debt notes


Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. has secured Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) approval to redeem P1.5 billion in debt notes ahead of maturity.

“[T]he [BSP’s] Monetary Board approved the request of EastWest to exercise on January 2, 2016 its call option as provided for in the P1.5 billion unsecured subordinated debt it issued on July 2, 2010, with original maturity of January 2, 2021,” EastWest said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

The listed bank previously announced that the Tier 2 notes would be paid ahead of schedule as these no longer qualify under Basel 3 regulations on capital requirements.
The coupon rate of the Tier 2 debt notes had been set at 7.5 percent with a tenor of 10 years and six months.

EastWest has said that it had enough capital for growth and expansion, having raised P8 billion via a stock rights offering in March. The rights offer involved the issuance of 371 million shares priced at P21.53 each.

EastWest is looking to open 20 to 30 branches this year, which will bring its total branch count to 405 by yearend. It is targeting 15 percent to 20 percent growth in net income this year on the back of the network expansion plus more product and service offerings.

In the first half, EastWest saw its net income dip to P1.007 billion from P1.046 billion even as revenues rose to P7.922 billion from P7.145 billion a year earlier.

EastWest, a commercial bank led by the Gotianum family through Filinvest Development Corp., started operations in 1994. The bank holds 100 percent of East West Rural Bank Inc. and 99.84 percent of Green Bank Inc. (A Rural Bank).


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