Following the approval of its universal bank license by the Monetary Board (MB), San Miguel Corporation (SMC) affiliate Bank of Commerce (BankCom) is setting its sights on further boosting support to local businesses – particularly the SMEs – to help drive economic growth amid the continuing pandemic.
The bank was officially granted its universal bank status in a ceremony led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno, BSP Deputy Gov. Chuchi Fonacier, Monetary Board Members Peter B. Favila, Anita Linda Aquino, Felipe M. Medalla, V. Bruce J. Tolentino, and SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang, BankCom Chairman Jose T. Pardo, and BankCom president and CEO Michelangelo Aguilar.
Ang said that with the bank’s upgrade, it can now provide a wider array of financial solutions to clients, including additional products for businesses and large clients to raise working capital, especially those set on expanding their operations.
“Following almost two years of the pandemic, our economy remains stable and we are on the right track towards recovery. Many companies, including San Miguel, have continued to invest in major projects that will serve the current and future needs of various markets and industries that continue to grow, despite the challenges of the pandemic. This upgrade of Bank of Commerce means there will now be another major player in the banking sector that can help push SMEs and companies pursue their growth targets and long-term goals,” said Ang said.
With a recent capital infusion of P5.5 billion from SMC Equivest Corporation, coupled with the potential proceeds of an upcoming Initial Public Offering, Ang said that Bank of Commerce is in a strong position to provide access to capital for both existing and new clients, including major companies.
As of September 2021, the total assets of BankCom stood at PHP195 billion, representing a 14% growth from PHP171 billion at the end of 2020. Further, its deposit base, spread across 140 branches, stood at PHP167 billion as of September 2021, representing a 14% growth from PHP149 billion at end-2020. Likewise, its net income grew by 26% in the first nine months of 2021, compared to the same period last year.
While Bank of Commerce already currently provides financial services to major corporate clients, Ang highlighted the importance of supporting small to medium enterprises, which he said are critical to the economy’s continued recovery.
He said that the growth of SMEs, many of which have the potential to become bigger businesses–as demonstrated by many major Philippine corporations today that started out as small businesses–is key to generating more employment nationwide.
“SMC would not be where it is today without our partner SMEs nationwide–from our dealers, contract growers, service station operators, franchisees, to service providers and many more in our nationwide ecosystem. They are key not just to our overall operations, but to stimulating and sustaining economic growth, especially at this crucial period when we are still in a pandemic,” Ang said.
“Bank of Commerce has been an indispensable partner for many of them and has a proven capability and track record in servicing both our partner SMEs and major subsidiaries. We are grateful that now, we can expand the bank’s offerings and services to more clients not just within the SMC network, but more significantly, outside of it,” he added.
Earlier, BankCom President Aguilar said the upgrade would allow Bank of Commerce to strengthen its presence in the domestic market, deepen its relationship with clients, and unlock opportunities to offer more products and services.
Among the broader range of offerings BankCom is looking to provide to clients are whole-life and investment-based insurance products, through a strong bancassurance offering.
BankCom filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November, and a listing application with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in December for its proposed initial public offering and listing of common shares.
The common shares have an indicative offer price of up to Php12.50 per common share and are intended to be offered in Q1 2022. BDO Capital & Investment Corporation, China Bank Capital Corporation, Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc., and PNB Capital and Investment Corporation have been engaged as Joint Issue Managers, Joint Lead Underwriters, and Joint Bookrunners for the IPO.
A REGISTRATION STATEMENT RELATING TO THE COMMON SHARES OF BANKCOM HAS BEEN FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, BUT HAS NOT YET BEEN DECLARED EFFECTIVE. NO OFFER TO BUY THE SECURITIES CAN BE ACCEPTED AND NO PART OF THE PURCHASE PRICE CAN BE RECEIVED UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT HAS BECOME EFFECTIVE THEREBY, AND ANY SUCH OFFER MAY BE WITHDRAWN OR REVOKED, WITHOUT OBLIGATION OR COMMITMENT OF ANY KIND, AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE NOTICE OF ITS ACCEPTANCE. AN INDICATION OF INTEREST IN RESPONSE HERETO INVOLVES NO OBLIGATION OR COMMITMENT OF ANY KIND. THIS PROSPECTUS SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL OR BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY.