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How investors view BPI’s system glitch

Sofia Tomacruz
How investors view BPI’s system glitch
BPI's stocks remain unaffected despite the internal glitch that caused unauthorized transactions on numerous accounts

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After numerous bank accounts were affected by a technical glitch on Wednesday, June 7, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) saw little to no effect on its stock price, an indicator of investor sentiment. 

BPI stocks, 47.67% owned by public investors, opened at P103.30, slightly down from its P105.30 close the day before.

“There was some panic selling in the beginning because the lowest traded price of P103.3 was sometime in the morning. But most of the day it was flat at P105.3. On close, some brokers bought and allowed it to close at a higher level,” Luis Limlingan, head of research and sales at Regina Capital Development Corporation, told Rappler. 

BPI ended at P106.60 apiece, up 1.23% from its closing price the day before. It even exceeded its 52-week high of P107.90. 

Volume of BPI shares traded remained normal at 1,291,950 on the day the glitch caused a social media storm.  

“For the most part people might have thought of it as a one-off event that could be an opportunity to buy because it (technical glitch) was an IT-related problem, which could be easily addressed,” said Limlingan. 

He added, “The real problem would be the disgruntled customers; it depends how BPI would deal with this.” 

Customers cited unauthorized transactions, which lead to the deduction of money from accounts, with some even citing negative account balances. (READ: BPI system glitch leads to clients ‘losing money’ in accounts)

The financial sector on Wednesday was also up 0.33% as the main index, a basket of 30 blue chips including BPI, hit the psychological 8,000 mark again. 

Stock prices of peer banks Metrobank and BDO Unibank were also unaffected, suggesting investors do not consider the incident as systemic.

Metrobank’s stocks opened at P89 and were up 0.28% with last traded price at P88.00, as of 3:20 pm.

Likewise, BDO Unibank opened at P124.30, with last traded price at P124.50, up 0.16% from yesterday’s closing price of P124.30.

BPI president and CEO Cezar Consing said in an interview on ANC Wednesday morning: “We want to assure them (customers) that they have not lost money. This is simply a glitch. The amount will be restored at the end of the day.” (READ: BPI assures clients: You’ll get your money back)

Consing also allayed fears that the glitch was caused by a hack. In the meantime, there was a temporary suspension of the bank’s electronic channels to address the error. 

BPI, operated by the Ayala group, is owned by Ayala Corporation, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, and Singapore’s GIC Private Ltd.

The bank reported a net income of P6.3 billion in the first 3 months of 2017, up 26% from the same period last year. It currently has 821 branches across the Philippines, as well as 35 kiosk branches and 3,061 automated teller machines.  – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.