The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) today signed a US$740-million credit facility with 19 domestic and foreign banks at the BSP complex. The three-year loan facility is the first sovereign deal under the Arroyo administration.
BSP Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura said that the banks’ overwhelming response to the BSP’s invitation to participate in the club loan is a vote of confidence of the financial community both here and abroad in the country’s new leadership. Initially, the BSP invited only 12 banks to the club loan. The club loan, however, was 1.85 times oversubscribed as seven other banks committed to join the loan facility. With the increase in number of lenders, the loan amount was raised from the original target of US$400 million to US$740 million.
The proceeds of the loan will be used to refinance the BSP’s maturing obligations this year. The loan carries an interest rate of 2.7 percentage points over the six-month London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR).
Governor Buenaventura expressed the Bangko Sentral’s appreciation for the strong positive response of both domestic and foreign banks. The lead banks in the loan facility are the Bank of Philippine Islands, BNP Paribas Manila, Citibank NA, Deutsche Bank AG, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, ING Barings, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, Banco de Oro Universal Bank and JP Morgan. The co-lead banks are the Australia and New Zealand Banking group, the Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi-Manila branch, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, offshore banking branch of DBS Bank, Mizuho financial group-the Fuji Bank-Manila branch, KBC bank N.V.-Manila branch, the Sanwa Bank-Hong Kong branch, and the Sumitomo bank. The BSP has named the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank as the facility agent.
This is the second time that the BSP has entered into a club loan arrangement. The first was in April 1998. The 1998 loan facility will mature in April this year.