Merger set to create Philippines’ largest bank

banco.jpgBanco de Oro, controlled by Philippine shopping mall tycoon Henry Sy, said Monday it is to merge with rival Equitable PCI Bank to create potentially the country’s largest lender in terms of assets.

The cost of the deal was not disclosed, but analysts said the merged entity would have assets in excess of 600 billion pesos (12 billion dollars).

The board of Banco de Oro, which will be the surviving entity, approved the merger during a special meeting Monday. It also raised the bank’s authorized capital stock to 65 billion pesos, divided into 5.5 billion pesos in common shares with a par value of 10 pesos per share, and one billion pesos in preferred shares at 10 pesos a share.

Banco de Oro said in a statement to the stock exchange that its board of directors had approved the merger and recommended its stockholders to “adopt the plan of merger.”

All issued and outstanding common stock of Equitable PCI will be converted into fully-paid and non-assessable common stock of Banco de Oro, it said.

Banco de Oro said a special stockholders’ meeting will be held on December 27 to approve the merger and the increase in capital stock.

The merger would firm up Banco de Oro’s dominance in retail banking, asset management, foreign exchange remittances, credit cards and underwriting, said analysts.

They said the merger may also dislodge Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. as the nation’s largest lender by assets, with the combined resources of Equitable and Banco de Oro estimated to exceed 600 billion pesos. –– AFP

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