Henry Sy's BDO in market for more acquisitions?
MANILA – Banco de Oro (BDO) added some fire to merger and acquisition speculation surrounding the banking sector, which was reignited this week after Malaysia's fourth largest bank said it was in talks with potential partners in the Philippines.
Jose Sio, chief finance officer of BDO's parent SM Investments, teased reporters at a forum Thursday, saying the Sy-led bank is preparing for the 2015 ASEAN Integration, and may seek growth through acquisition.
But Sio did not give any specifics.
BDO is already the country's largest lender by assets, getting there by buying Equitable PCI Bank in 2007.
Another Sy-led bank, China Bank, bought Planters Development Bank in September.
Rafael Algarra, executive vice president for Financial Markets at Security Bank, said the competition will grow with the larger regional banks entering the Philippine market as part of the integration.
Algarra said Security Bank will be ready.
“With our strength in terms of fixed income market and wholesale market, we should be able to compete. We've strengthened our operations in the asset management side and the retail side, and this will prepare us when the integration comes,” he said.
Algarra though said his bank hasn't shut the door on acquisitions or new partnerships.
“In terms of partnership, we won't say we are actively looking but we are always open, anything that will enhance the value of the bank, we're quite open to it,” he said.
Malaysia's RHB Bank told Bloomberg on Tuesday that it is already in talks with potential partners in the Philippines.
On Wednesday, Metrobank denied knowledge of any talks with RHB.
BPI treasurer and head of global banking Antonio Paner said on Thursday he is not aware of any talks between BPI and RHB.
Banking stocks have risen for two straight days since the RHB story came out.