United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) is looking forward to its privatization following the lifting of a Supreme Court restraining order that had halted the sale of assets purchased via the Marcos-era coconut levy fund.
“As announced by DoF (Department of Finance) Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, the government will soon resume the bank’s privatization through a recapitalization program and sale of the government’s majority stake in UCPB,” the bank said in a statement on Monday.
“This will definitely redound to the benefit of UCPB and its clients as this will strengthen the bank’s capital and generate more resources to improve its competitive position in the market,” it added.
Dominguez earlier told reporters that the government would stop supporting UCPB beginning 2019 with the view of selling its 73.9 percent stake in the bank.
Five years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the government owned the majority of UCPB as the stake had been acquired using money from a levy charged to coconut farmers.
The then-ruling Aquino administration announced plans to privatize the bank but this was held up in 2015 after the Supreme Court restrained the government from utilizing the coco levy fund.
The restraining order was lifted earlier this month.
“We will be coordinating closely with the DoF for their next steps, and will provide updates to all our stakeholders as we do so,” UCPB said.
“We would like to assure our clients that it is business as usual for the bank while we go through each phase of this much-awaited recapitalization program, and that they can look forward to a better and stronger UCPB,” it added.
UCPB netted P2.01 billion in the first half , 12 percent higher than the P1.8 billion recorded in the same period last year.