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AUB buys Singapore-based remittance firm (Philippine Star)

by September 1, 2015 Industry

MANILA, Philippines – Listed Asia United Bank (AUB) is taking over a remittance firm based in Singapore to boost its presence abroad to serve overseas Filipinos sending cash to their loved ones in the Philippines.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), AUB head for corporate planning and investor relations Elizabeth Miranda said the bank’s board of directors approved the acquisition of a 100 percent stake in Pinoy Express PTE. Limited.

Miranda said AUB is buying 300,000 shares of Pinoy Express. The acquisition price has yet to be determined.

The final terms of the transaction, she added, would be set forth in an agreement to be executed by the parties involved.

“The consideration for the shares will be paid for in cash. The value of the acquisition is less than one percent of AUB’s book value. The consideration for the shares will be paid for in cash and full payment will be conditional on the issuance and receipt of the necessary approvals,” she said.

Pinoy Express is a duly registered corporation in Singapore and is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a remittance company. It provides a complete range of remittance products and services to migrant workers, principally overseas Filipinos in Singapore.

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“The decision to invest in Pinoy Express is expected to improve AUB’s coverage of the Singapore remittance market,” the bank added.

AUB said the acquisition would be completed in the last quarter of the year upon receipt of all the necessary regulatory approvals.

The bank’s earnings slipped a little over three percent to P852.76 million in the first half of the year from P879.54 million in the same period last year.

The bank’s interest income jumped 20 percent to P2.82 billion in the first half of the year from P2.35 billion in the same period last year, while interest expense surged 29.7 percent to P599.68 million from P462.4 million.

AUB’s operating expenses went up 27.6 percent to P2.1 billion in the first six months of the year from P1.65 billion in the same period last year with the opening of more branches and higher provisioning for losses.

The bank’s provision for credit and impairment losses surged more than 140 percent to P244.56 million form P101.81 million.

The bank opened 29 more branches since end June last year, bringing its total network to 224 branches including 15 branches of Cavite United Rural Bank and Pampanga-based Rural Bank of Angeles.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sees cash remittances from overseas Filipinos growing between five and six percent this year. Cash remittances sent home by overseas Filipinos grew 5.6 percent to $12.08 billion in the first half of the year from $11.45 billion in the same period last year.