Jun 262013

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Business Bank (PBB) Inc., the financial arm of the Yao Group of Companies, has dipped into the mining business following its purchase of some 600 million shares of Marcventures Holdings Inc. worth about P980 million last June 20.

PBB, however, did not include in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) the acquisition cost for the mining firm’s shares.

MARC is a holding company involved in nickel mining operations in Surigao del Sur through its subsidiary – Marcventures Mining & Development Corp. (MMDC). Its shares closed trading yesterday at P1.64 each.

The area covered by MMDC’s mineral production sharing agreement is in the Diwata mountain range of Surigao del Sur and covers 4,799 hectares.

Last month, PBB was granted 16 branch licenses by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

These new licenses are on top of the 15 restricted  licenses acquired by PBB in 2012,  of which five will be opened this year.

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The new licenses seek to  increase the  bank’s footprint  in the  local and regional  market.

PBB listed its shares at the PSE in Feb. 19. It raised about P3 billion from the offering, proceeds of which would be used to finance the expansion of its branches.

PBB’s niche market are the small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

The bank plans to beef up its branch network to 100 from a current total of 79 branches. The new branches are part of the bank’s comprehensive and strategic expansion program that targets both the local market and the region, focused on the SMEs.

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