Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has raised P33.9 billion from a warmly received bond offering that was completed before Metro Manila was locked down to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, BPI said it had upsized the issuance by more than six times the base offer of P5 billion, due to strong demand from institutional investors as well as high-net-worth and retail clients.

The bonds—with a tenor of one and a half years and an interest rate of 4.05 percent a year—have been issued and are now tradable on local fixed income platform Philippine Dea­ling and Exchange Corp.

“We thank our investors and clients who supported this bond offer despite the volatile market conditions caused by the COVID-19 situation. The issuance will help us deliver the financial services that our fellow Filipinos need during this difficult time,” said BPI treasurer Dino Gasmen.

BPI closed the offer period last March 6 or 11 days ahead of the original schedule on March 17 due to robust demand. The consolidated order book hit P42 billion despite the bonds being priced at the tightest end of the indicative pricing range.

The government locked down Metro Manila on March 15 and later on expanded the “community quarantine” to cover the whole of Luzon.

BPI Capital Corp. and ING Bank N.V., Manila Branch served as the joint lead arrangers of the bond offering. BPI Capital was sole selling agent, while ING was participating selling agent.

The bank’s offering was in line with BPI’s strategy to grow and diversify its funding sour­ces. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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