Feb 192013

MANILA, Philippines – Thrift lender Philippine Business Bank (PBB) listed its shares at the local stock exchange yesterday, the first listing for the year.

Shares of PBB, which were sold at P31.50 apiece during the IPO, opened at P34.75 each, strengthening further to end the trading day at P36.35, an upside of 15.39 percent from the IPO price.

“I guess the advantage that PBB has is we focus on small and medium enterprises (SME), the underserved market,” PBB president Rolando Avante told reporters.

Juanchito Dispo, president of issue under writer First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), said the IPO, was more than four times oversubscribed amid robust demand from both institutional and retail investors.

Avante said PBB expects a loan growth of 20-25 percent this year that can be used by SMEs for business expansion.

PBB listed 343.33 million of its common shares at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Underwriters FMIC and SB Capital Investment Corp. earlier trimmed the offer P31.50 per share from a maximum P41.94 earlier to give investors more leeway to earn from stock price appreciation.

Fresh capital from the IPO will allow the bank to strengthen its foothold in the SME sector.

PBB plans to put up 22 additional branches to reach a total 100 branches at the end of the year.

As of end-September last year, PBB is the fifth largest thrift bank in the Philippines with P29.7 billion in assets last year.

PBB, which ended last year with 78 branches of which 41 are located in Metro Manila, posted P624.10 million in earnings in the nine months to September from P549 million a year ago.

PBB plans to grow its asset base aggressively, focusing on loan growth, expand consumer loan portfolio through expanded branch network and improve the use of the funds through the trading business particularly in low loan demand period.

The bank is majority owned by the Yao family of the Zest-O Group, which is looking at another IPO, this time for its softdrinks business.

Zest-O chairman Alfredo Yao said the group is hoping to list Asiawide Refreshments Corp. (ARC), the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of RC Cola in the Philippines, in the local bourse this year.

“We are expanding outside the country. We are also expanding in the Philippines, both in manufacturing and distribution,” Yao said.

The expansion of the distribution business is in line with the integration of Southeast Asian countries, said FMIC’s Dispo.

The IPO will support the plan of the RC Cola manufacturer to tap other markets in Southeast Asia, one of the emerging regions in the global economic scene.

Yao said ARC is looking at Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam but local operations are also expanding.

The company recently opened a Cagayan de Oro plant while the Pangasinan plant will start commercial operations next week to add to the existing 14 plants.

In 2002, a group of marketing and manufacturing experts — Antonio Panajon, Gerry Garcia, Butch Aves, Ricky Sandoval and food and beverage entrepreneur Yao — put up ARC.

“I have to convince other shareholders, around three to four guys,” Yao said, adding that he owns 80 percent of ARC.

Yao said ARC, the top RC Cola bottler outside the US, will offer at least 30 percent of its outstanding shares to the public.

Meanwhile, the IPO for its flagship ready-to-drink juice maker Zest-O Corp. will be the last to be listed in the group, Yao said.

 Leave a Reply