MAKATI CITY, Metro Manila—Globe Telecom Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala Corporation today inked an agreement to turn over full ownership of BPI BanKO (BanKO) to BPI, one of the co-owners of the joint venture.
Pending completion of regulatory and business requirements, the agreement will result in the country’s first mobile phone-based savings bank becoming a wholly-owned and managed subsidiary of BPI. It is expected that BPI will assume full ownership in BanKO by yearend. Despite the change in shareholder structure, BanKO, which has been in operation for five years, will continue to provide its critical financial services to the unbanked.
BPI will increase its stake in BanKO by buying the shares of Globe and Ayala Corp. representing 40% and 20%, respectively. BPI currently owns 40% of BanKO.
With the acquisition of BanKO, BPI underscores its commitment to inclusive growth.
“We take this opportunity to thank our partners for working with us to get BanKO to the point where it represents a real life-line to Filipinos who would otherwise not have access to banking services,” said Cezar P. Consing, BPI President and CEO.
“Over the next few months, we will be in the process of transitioning BanKO within the BPI group and it is our goal to continue providing the highest level of service to BanKO’s customers during this time.”
Globe, on the other hand, will continue to explore non-traditional avenues in microfinance by leveraging its telecommunications infrastructure and mobile money platform.
“We welcome this development that would support BPI’S commitment to financial inclusion, especially to the underserved and unbanked sectors. At the same time, Globe remains committed to further stimulate grassroots financial services development through affordable, innovative and non-traditional avenues towards microfinance, complementing the efforts of BPI and BanKO,” said Ernest L. Cu, Globe President and CEO.
Ayala Corporation CEO and Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala added, “We believe that BPI’s assumption of full control and ownership of BanKO is an important step in the continued effort of the Ayala group to provide access to essential financial services to the unbanked segments of our population. BPI will now be properly positioned to pursue traditional microfinance lending within the existing regulatory frameworks. With this transaction and Globe’s separate, but complementary, efforts to develop and provide innovative microfinance solutions, the Ayala group will continue to deliver extensive and innovative microfinance solutions to a broader segment of the Philippine population.”
About Ayala Corporation
Ayala Corporation is one of the largest and most diversified business groups in the Philippines. Founded in 1834, Ayala has maintained dominant positions in various industries in the Philippines. Ayala’s portfolio includes Ayala Land, the leading and the most diversified property developer in the country; Bank of the Philippine Islands, the first bank in the country and pioneering in major banking technologies in the Philippines; Globe Telecom, a major communications and broadband service provider in the country and; Manila Water, a regional player in water infrastructure services and development. Ayala also has interests in electronics, automotive, business process outsourcing, education, healthcare, and power generation and transport infrastructure. Combined, the Ayala group has a market cap of nearly $40 billion, comprising nearly 21% of the total market cap of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Bank of the Philippine Islands, the first bank in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, is a universal bank with an expanded banking license. Together with its subsidiaries, BPI offers a wide range of financial services from consumer banking and lending, asset management, securities brokerage and distribution, insurance, leasing, foreign exchange, and corporate and investment banking. BPI is a leader in Philippine banking, with its high market capitalization, strong Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio and healthy shareholder return, all promoted and supported by prudent management. BPI is rated investment-grade by the international ratings agencies.
Globe Telecom is a leading full service telecommunications company in the Philippines, serving the needs of consumers and businesses across an entire suite of products and services including mobile, fixed, broadband, data connections, internet and managed services. Its principals are Ayala Corporation and SingTel, acknowledged industry leaders in the country and in the region. For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph. Follow Globe Telecom on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GlobePH and Tattoo at www.facebook.com/GlobeTattoo as well as on Twitter @enjoyglobe and @choosetattoo and Instagram at @enjoyglobe and @choosetattoo.