Japan’s MUFG buying 20% of Philippines' Security Bank for US$774mil

MANILA: Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is buying a fifth of mid-sized Philippine lender Security Bank Corp for US$774mil, in what will be the biggest foreign financial sector equity investment in the Southeast Asian nation.

Mitsubishi UFJ’s investment, being made through its core banking unit, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (BTMU), is the latest in a string of cross-border tie-ups that Japanese financial firms are seeking to tap fast-growing Asian markets as domestic growth remains weak.

Under the agreement, BTMU will acquire newly issued primary shares of Security Bank, consisting of 150.7 million common shares at 245 pesos per share and 200 million preferred shares at 0.10 pesos per share.

The price being paid for the common shares represents a premium of 81% over the stock’s closing price on Wednesday. Security Bank shares rose as much as 16% on Thursday, but then gave up some of the gains to trade 6.7% higher by 0620 GMT.

Security Bank said the transaction is subject to local regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed within the first half of 2016. With a 20 % stake, BTMU becomes the second largest shareholder in the bank after the local Dy group which has majority voting control. Go Watanabe, BTMU CEO for Asia and Oceana, said the Japanese lender may “seriously” consider raising its stake in Security Bank if opportunities arise in the future, and is also looking at investment opportunities in Indonesia and India. — Reuters

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