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BPI planning to tap syndicated loan

Ayala-led lender Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) on Thursday announced plans to tap a syndicated loan to partly refinance its $600-million debt papers set to mature this year.
According to BPI treasurer and global markets head Dino Gasmen, the bank is now looking at a syndicated loan instead of bond issuance, given the prevailing market conditions.
“We’re going to refinance that maturity partially, but it won’t be a public issuance. We’re going to do it with a syndicated loan,” he told reporters in a briefing in Makati City.
BPI earlier this year said it was looking at a dollar bond issuance within the year to refinance $600 million in debt papers maturing in 2023, possibly within the second quarter.
“Maturity is $600 million. We’re going to refinance less, just a portion. We have the extra funds to pay off the entire debt,” Gasmen said.
“I think that the certainty of getting it done is better compared to a bond because a bond issuance is subject to market conditions, and as we know, conditions right now are very volatile in the financial market,” he added.
BPI is optimistic of another banner year in 2023, following the record net income of P39.6 billion in 2022, which reflected a 66% climb from the previous year and a 37.5% growth from the pre-pandemic bottom line in 2019.
“It’s a consumer-led economy, and that’s why we think, and that’s why I personally think the economy remains very strong,” BPI president Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco said.
Economic managers earlier this week retained their economic growth projection of 6.0% to 7.0% this year but hiked their inflation outlook to 5.0% to 7.0% from the previous projection of 2.5% to 4.5%.
Loan growth, however, is expected to partially slow down to low double-digit levels this year after the 15% growth recorded in 2022 to reflect the deceleration of the local economy. First-quarter loan growth was recorded at 13.2%.
“In terms of loan growth, we think that the early quarter of the year is probably more or less indicative of what we’re going to see through the course of the rest of the year. Overall, the outlook is optimistic, so we expect to see continued growth,” BPI chief finance officer Eric Luchangco said in the same briefing.
“A slowing of the GDP (gross domestic product growth) will of course affect loan growth as well, but that being said, we continue to believe that we’ll continue to see further loan growth,” he added.
BPI reported a full-year net income of P39.6 billion in 2022, reflecting a 66% climb from the previous year and a 37.5% growth from the pre-pandemic bottom line recorded in 2019.

Its principal subsidiaries include BPI Family Savings Bank Inc., BPI Capital Corp., BPI Direct BanKo Inc., BPI International Finance Limited, BPI Remittance Centre Hong Kong Ltd., BPI (Europe) Plc., BPI/MS Insurance Corp., BPI Asset Management and Trust Corp., and BPI Investment Management Inc.
VBL, GMA Integrated News