By Madelaine B. Miraflor
State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) is targeting to close the deal to acquire Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS), operator of the country’s fixed-income bourse, within the year.
“On our best estimate on when this will wrap up, our target is within this year,” said LandBank Executive Vice President for Treasury and Investment Banking Sector Carel Halog.
LandBank ‘s plan to acquire PDS was announced early last year, and is part of the government’s plan to strengthen the capital markets.
This, as the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) failed to get the regulatory approval for its plan to acquire PDS in a bid to unify the operations of the country’s bond and equity markets.
The bank had earlier set a March 15 deadline for PDS shareholders to sell their stake to LandBank at a revised price of P215 a piece, which is lower than the P360 per share earlier offered.
Halog said “most” of the interested shareholders complied with the deadline and that LandBank is now finalizing the share purchase agreement with them.
“We’re in talks with the regulators right now and with the interested stakeholders,” Halog said. “This is a good deal for us to pursue because there will be some synergy with the government so aside from providing us good revenue stream, we expect to help in further developing the capital market.”
Right now, LandBank indirectly owns a mere 2 percent of PDS through Bankers Association of the Philippines. PSE, on the other hand, owns 21 percent of the bond bourse.
To get a majority stake in PDS, the bank is planning to buy at least 66.67 percent of the bond, which is comprised of 4.17 million common shares.