San Miguel pours P5B into Bank of Commerce
MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel Corp. recently boosted the capital of its banking subsidiary, Bank of Commerce, through a P5.5-billion acquisition of the bank’s preferred shares—a move which brings the financial institution closer to its goal of being upgraded to a universal bank.
In a statement, the country’s largest conglomerate said its 100-percent owned subsidiary, SMC Equivest Corp., was the vehicle used for the capital infusion, saying the investment affirms the group’s “optimism and strong outlook of growth” in the banking sector, and its commitment to support Bank of Commerce in expanding its business prospects and advancing toward becoming a universal bank.
“The net proceeds will be used to increase Bank of Commerce’s funding base for accelerating corporate and consumer loan growth, support capital expenditures in upgrading its banking technology, and offer a wider menu of financial services,” the company said.
“We’re confident that in this time of pandemic, the banking sector will be essential to our country’s economic recovery, and will provide invaluable help both to our industries and Filipinos,” said San Miguel president Ramon Ang who also sits as chair of SMC Equivest. “BankCom can help fulfill the needs of both businesses and consumers for loans and other financial services at this critical time.”
Apart from boosting the bank’s capacity for lending and investing, Ang said the capital infusion will also help enable the bank to improve operational processes through automation, strengthening cybersecurity, and offer product integration with financial technology players, or fintechs, and other banking partners.
As of March 2021, prior to the infusion, BankCom was 16th largest bank in the Philippines and 17th in terms of capital.
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