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UnionBank bares P1-b digital peso bond offer

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Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the biggest banks in terms of assets, launched on Monday the public offering of the first digital peso bonds with a minimum issue size of P1 billion.

UnionBank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the offering is the first digital bond issuance in the Philippines, a result of its partnership with Philippine Depository & Trust Corp.

“UnionBank will issue the digital bonds from its existing P39-billion bonds program. The bonds have a tenor of 1.5 years and a fixed rate of 3.25 percent per annum. The public offer period will start from May 23, 2022 and end on May 27, 2022,” it said.

The bonds will be issued and listed on Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. on June 2, 2022 for trading in the PDEx fixed-income market.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank are the joint lead arrangers and book-runners of the transaction. They are also the selling agents for the offering together with UnionBank.

UnionBank posted a 9-percent year-on-year increase in net income to P12.6 billion in 2021, driven by the strength of core businesses. This translated into an above-industry return on equity of 12.0 percent.

UnionBank president and chief executive Edwin Bautista said the 2021 performance was a validation of the bank’s digital transformation strategy.

“We hit key strategic milestones that ramped up our growth aspirations. Customer accounts grew by 2.5 million this year, with close to 1 million accounts coming from our digital-only account opening offering,” Bautista said.

He said the current and savings account growth was at an all-time high for the second consecutive year, owing to its cash management solutions.

Bautista said that together with digital initiatives, the bank’s top priority in 2022 is the smooth transition and migration of Citi’s consumer banking business.

“We are committed to uphold Citi’s superior customer experience and provide a new home for all Citi employees in UnionBank,” he said.


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