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MANILA, Philippines – SM-led BDO Unibank Inc is pushing expansion in Southern Philippines as it entered into an agreement to purchase controlling equities of Mindanao-based One Network Bank Inc (ONB).
“The addition of ONB to the BDO Group will give BDO access to new market segments in Mindanao and Panay Island, which are among the bank’s targeted growth areas,” BDO said in a December 23 disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
BDO valuated the private bank’s total assets at P28.1 billion ($628.64 million). The amount is P9.89 billion ($221.25 million) higher when compared to ONB’s reported total assets of P18.21 billion ($407.38 million) in 2012.
The SM-led bank said acquiring ONB is strategic due to its profitable business history, providing returns of more than 20% of its shareholders.
In the first 9 months of 2013, ONB booked a P743-million ($16.62 million) net income, a 34% increase from its P553-million ($12.37 million) 2012 net earnings. The uptrend was driven by the bank’s “affordable loan products and banking solutions to unserved and underserved sectors.”
ONB is the largest rural bank in the country, with a footprint of more than 95 branches and 135 automated teller machines all over Mindanao. As of 2013, the bank had a workforce of 1,356 employees.
Formed in 2004, ONB is a product of a merging between the Rural Bank of Panabo, Network Rural Bank (Davao), and Provident Rural Bank of Cotabato.
The private bank is currently under the chairmanship of Victor Consunji, founder and chair of DMCI Holdings Inc.
BDO’s interest in ONB comes after Malaysia’s Khazana Nasional Berhad acquired a 2% stake in the country’s biggest commercial bank. – Rappler.com