MANILA — Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) on Friday listed with the Philippine Dealing Exchange Corp. (PDEx) its PHP12.2 billion 5.5-year Long-Term Negotiable Certificates of Time Deposit (LTNCTDs), proceeds of which is eyed to help boost the government’s infrastructure program.
The same instrument was also issued Friday, with the volume upsized from the initial PHP5 billion offering due to strong demand.
In his speech during the listing ceremony, BPI President and CEO Cezar Consing cited the improving depth of the Philippine financial market as a major factor in the LTNCTD issuance.
“In the last 14 months alone there have been 16 issues like this raising PHP93 billion. On the part of the bank this is the largest and while it is benchmark I am hoping that it doesn’t stay the largest for long because we all want progress, we want bigger issues to follow this,” he said.
Another factor in the bank’s decision to issue the LTNCTD, which is maturing on May 24, 2023 and has an annual interest rate of 3.75 percent, is its increasing attractiveness to investors given the continued improvement of the quality of domestic expansion, he said.
Consing said the kind of domestic expansion the country is experiencing now is moving towards internal financing, project financing, and investment financing “hence, the need for securities like this.”
He said nearly 5,000 retail investors availed of the bank’s latest issuance and he traced this partly to expectations of higher rates in the near term.
He said robust demand for the instrument made the bank hire some contractual personnel to help fill out the needed forms.
“That is something that I expect we’ll see more of in the future. These all four things are good signals. I think this is a wonderful benchmark, I am personally hoping that this benchmark will be surpassed in the not so distant future and will give us another benchmark,” he said.
LTNCTDs are peso-denominated and with a maturity of at least five years. It can be traded in the secondary market and offer higher interest rates than regular deposits. It is covered by Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) rules.
BPI’s latest LTNCTD issuance is part of the PHP30 billion approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to be done in several tranches within a year.
The bank tapped ING Bank N.V. Manila as sole arranger for the issuance as well as selling agent along with BPI Capital Corporation and the bank itself.
In an interview by journalists after the listing ceremony, the BPI chief said the next issuance will depend on future opportunities and when the bank sees the need to tap it.
“It is both market conditions and opportunities to fund projects,” he said, noting that this type of instrument funds medium- and long-term projects.
“So when a bank goes out and does something like this it is really signaling that there are long term or medium projects to be funded which is a good thing,” he said.
Consing explained that “it is a very good sign when you are doing more than just funding working capital because that means people are investing that means people are making a better growth.”
“That means people are positive in the economy so that is how we view this deal,” he said.
Consing said part of the proceeds will be used to help projects of both the government and the private sectors in line with the Duterte administration’s “Build, build, build” program.
“That is part of the reason we did this…The fact is if you look at the capital needs that are in the economic plans of the government they are so large and they are so significant that frankly all banks will have to pitch in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Consing discounted any acquisition plan, saying that the bank was able to expand its business organically in the last four to five years.
“So we can talk about expansion using our own horsepower. LTNCDs and other securities like this allow us to continue that expansion,” he added. (PNA)