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PNB allots P4 billion for digitization amid growth opportunities

Philippine National Bank, the fifth-largest bank in terms of assets and controlled by tobacco and airline tycoon Lucio Tan, is allotting around P4 billion for digitization this year to seize growth opportunities in the growing economy.

PNB president and chief executive Wick Veloso said in a briefing Tuesday the bank would earmark 50 percent or P2 billion for information-technology related projects. The bank spent in 2018 spent just 40 percent of its capital expenditures for information technology.

“We want to capture the growth opportunities in the provinces. The opportunities in the provinces are very significant, not only in Metro Manila,” Veloso said.

To fund the P4-billion capex, Veloso said the bank plans to embark on capital-raising initiatives, such as stock rights offering and FCDU offshore funding.

The bank in April last year successfully raised $300 million of five-year fixed rate senior notes in Singapore and Hong Kong out of its $1-billion medium-term note program  This marked the first time that PNB tapped the international bond market for medium term dollar funding.

PNB executive vice president Nelson Reyes, who is also the bank’s chief financial officer, said the next stock rights offering might be conducted sometime in July or August this year.

The bank currently has 711 domestic branches and more than 1,240 ATMs strategically located nationwide.

Veloso said the bank was planning to open more branch lites in far-flung, or unserved and underserved, areas in the provinces.

He said the bank would announce the first-quarter performance in the early part of May.

PNB in 2018 posted a 17-percent increase in net profit to P9.6 billion from P8.2 billion in 2017 on the back of sustained strength in core businesses.

Total consolidated resources hit P983.6 billion, up P147.3 billion or 18 percent from a year ago.

Total operating income rose 20 percent to P38.9 billion from P32.3 billion a year ago, driven by increases in core revenues as well as gains from asset disposals.

Topics: Philippine National Bank , Wick Veloso , digitization , capital expenditures
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