UnionBank wants to export blockchain-based app for bonds | Inquirer Business
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UnionBank wants to export blockchain-based app for bonds

/ 05:22 AM December 10, 2020

Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines seeks to export to the overseas market a pioneering retail corporate bond issuance platform that harnesses blockchain technology.

Its recent execution of Asia’s first successful retail bond tokenization was touted as “proof of concept” that such decentralized ledgers, which more people currently associate with cryptocurrencies, could also be used to democratize retail bond offerings.

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“If we’re talking about blockchain, there’s no reason why the Philippines can be just a follower. This is an example of an execution where the Philippines can actually be a lead player as we have shown here. We have developed a blockchain platform that can be adapted in or sold to other countries,” UnionBank president Edwin Bautista said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

“So the next step for us is to see whether this execution or this platform can be exported to other countries,” he added.

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The platform was cocreated by UnionBank and SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures arm of Standard Chartered. SC Ventures built the bond tokenization platform to make the process simpler, faster and widely accessible.

Orders received were tokenized. To stay within existing retail bond guidelines, tokens issued mirrored the traditional transaction but were not allocated directly to investors.

UnionBank sold P9 billion worth of three- and 5.25-year bonds using this unique platform.

“The marriage of a digital order taking platform and back-end infrastructure driven by tokens is the future of retail bonds. We are keen to see the day when investors can buy and sell bonds, even on the secondary markets at a click of a button on their phones,” said UnionBank executive vice president and CFO Jose Emmanuel Hilado. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ

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