East West Bank mulls IPO
The Philippine Star September 13, 2010
By: Ted Torres

MANILA, Philippines - The East West Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) is mulling the possibility of going public as the country’s stock market enters a bullish phase.

Last Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at a new historic high of 3,902.56.

EastWest Bank president Antonio C. Moncupa Jr. admitted that they were selecting the best option for listing at the bourse. That means either taking the popular initial public offer (IPO) route or by listing by introduction.

The medium-sized commercial bank is a subsidiary of the Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), the publicly listed holding company of the Filinvest Group founded by Andrew L. Gotianun. FDC is one of the country’s premier conglomerates, with business interests in real estate development, financial and banking services and the sugar business.

Presently, the bank has a pending application for an upgrade of its commercial bank license to an expanded or universal bank license. A unibanking license will allow EastWest Bank to enter into other non-banking financial activities thus complimenting its public listing.

“We are considering entering the securities market,” Moncupa said.

Recently, the bank reported a net income of P1.3 billion as of end August 2010, a sharp increase from the P366 million recorded in the same period in 2009.

Its full year 2010 income target was placed at P1 billion. Last year, net earnings hit P622 million.

And with still four more months remaining for the year, bank officials are optimistic of hitting the P1.5 billion-target.

In the first six months of the year, the banks’ net income expanded by 237 percent, to P858 billion from P255 million last year.

Net interest income doubled to P2.17 billion this year from the P1.11 billion reported last year.

Total assets expanded by 16.1 percent to P80 billion from P69.1 billion in the same period in 2009.

Loan portfolio expanded to P33 billion of which P26 billion were classified as consumer or retail accounts.