Ayala hopeful of BPI-PNB merger by year-end

Posted at 11/23/12 3:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Conglomerate Ayala Corp. is hoping the possible merger between its banking arm, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Lucio Tan's Philippine National Bank will be finalized before year end.

Ayala Corp. Chief Finance Officer Delfin Gonzalez, when asked if the deal may be closed within the year, answered with an optimistic "hopefully."

However, he was quick to add there is no timetable for the merger yet. 

"We are still reviewing the terms. We will disclose when there's already a signed agreement," he said. 

BPI and PNB on Friday denied reports saying their respective boards have already approved of the planned merger.

Both banks on Wednesday confirmed negotiations are underway for a possible merger that will result into the country's largest bank in terms of assets.