Jun 292013

MANILA, Philippines – The board of Maybank Philippines Inc. (MPI) is studying options for the planned initial public offering (IPO) of the bank in the near term, a top official said.

Maybank Philippines president Herminio Famatigan Jr. said, “the board level discussions are ongoing now in terms of when we need to do that. When you do an IPO you obviously want to do it and get the interest of the market. You line up all options available to you.”

“They are now exploring all possibilities on how to conduct the IPO which under the law should be done by all foreign bank subsidiaries before end-2015,” he said.

“We still have up to the end of 2015 to do that.  There are so many possibilities. We can do an IPO or we can end up buying or merging with a bank that is listed. It’s another option to comply with the existing laws but not in the very near future,” he said.

He said they have not selected a financial advisor yet for the IPO but they may consider their subsidiary Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners Inc. to take the lead in the fundraising exercise.

However, Famatigan said they have to study carefully which is the most appropriate IPO scheme to undertake.

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“There’s no rush for us to do it. 2015 is still 2 1/2 years away,” he said.

Early this year, Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) said they would list a 10 percent stake of Maybank Philippines to comply with the existing laws.

Under the Foreign Bank Liberalization Act of 1994 or Republic Act 7721, local banks majority-owned by a foreign entity should offer at least 10 percent of their shares to the public.

Late last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) set the parameters on this provision and gave affected banks three years to comply with the law.

Maybank president and CEO Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar earlier said they would have to follow the rules.

Wahid said that they would have to “grow” the bank first before doing the IPO to ensure the success of the exercise.

Famatigan said they are on track to grow the bank organically.

The bank intends to put up 25 new branches within the year.

Currently, the Maybank Group is Malaysia’s regional financial services leader with an international network of over 2,200 offices in 20 countries.

In the Philippines, Maybank started operations in August 2000 when it became the first foreign bank to have almost 100 percent ownership stake in a Philippine commercial bank, Maybank Philippines Inc.

To further strengthen its operations in the Philippines, Maybank infused an additional $100 million into MPI to enable it to grow its branch network to 200 in 2018.

This new capital would also allow MPI to offer new products and services to its clients.                   

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