Sy group acquires Plantersbank
In a bid to boost its focus on small and medium enterprises (SME), the banking arm of the country's richest acquired a controlling stake in the country's largest private development bank

DEAL SEALED. China Bank chair Hans Sy (2nd from the left) and Plantersbank chair Jesus Tambunting shake hands after the MOA signing in Makati City. Photo courtesy of China Bank

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to boost its focus on small and medium enterprises (SME), the banking arm of the country’s richest acquired a controlling stake in the country’s largest private development bank.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Wednesday, September 18, Sy-led China Banking Corporation (China Bank) announced the signing of an agreement for the purchase of 3/4 of the shares of Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank), which is led by former Ambassador Jesus Tambunting.

“The Plantersbank deal bolsters China Bank’s current strategy in two areas – growing its middle market/SME portfolio and its network expansion program,” the Sy-led bank said. 

The announcement comes after the Sy group, via its universal banking unit, BDO Inc., decided not to pursue a deal to acquired the assets of Exportsbank, a financially distressed thrift bank.

This deal brings together the resources of the two banks focused on SMEs, a key market segment.

“This is a market sector that we happen to know very well, and we are excited by the opportunities to combine the strong legacy of both institutions to strengthen our presence in the SMEs and middle market,” said China Bank chairman Hans T. Sy.

These are how their portfolios look like:

Plantersbank (as of May 2013)

  • Total assets – P52.7 billion 
  • total loan portfolio – P33 billion 
  • total deposits – P43.6 billion
  • nationwide network – 78 branches
  • ATMs nationwide – 544

China Bank (as of June 2013)

  • total assets – P345.6 billion
  • gross loans – P189.9 billion
  • stockholders’ equity – P44.6 billion
  • nationwide network – 333 branches
  • Consolidated profits (Jan-June 2013) – P2.96 billion, up 46%
  • Return on average equity – 13.24%
  • Return on assets – 1.81%

“Over the course of Plantersbank’s evolution and growth as a financing institution, we have sought to forge ties with partners driven by the same commitment to the SMEs. This partnership with China Bank underscores our shared commitment,” Plantersbank chairman Tambunting said.

The memorandum of agreement is subject to approval of the bank’s shareholders and regulatory offices.

The China Bank Group includes China Bank, China Bank Savings (CBS), Unity Bank, CBC Insurance Brokers Inc., and Bancassurance affiliate Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation (MCBLife).

The Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines (ICCP) acted as the exclusive financial adviser to Plantersbank for the transaction. –

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