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Proposed Merger of Equitable PCIBank with Local Bank Consistent with BSP Policy to Encourage Mergers and Consolidation

01.15.2001

Bangko Sentral Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura, reacting to news reports that the Go family, the SSS and GSIS have agreed to sell their shares in Equitable PCIBank, today said that he has not received any official information about the sale but he added that this is a welcome move specially if it will be merged with local banks or a foreign bank will be coming in. The BSP Governor revealed that at least three universal banks and a foreign investor are interested. Equitable PCI Bank is an attractive buy because of its profitable branch network, strong remittance business and good asset quality. The bank is solvent and well capitalized, the Governor said.

The Governor also stated that the possible merger of Equitable PCI Bank with a local bank is consistent with BSP’s policy to encourage mergers and consolidation as a means to develop larger and stronger banks.

It will be recalled that the BSP issued Circular No. 237 on mergers and consolidation last April 2000 wherein incentives are being offered for the merged institutions.

The resulting merged bank is expected to become more competitive within the region and more operationally efficient as it will be able to take advantage of its collective experience and technological know-how.

It will now be in a position to be more globally competitive and this will be good for the Philippine banking system and the country as well, the BSP Governor declared.

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