East West Banking Corp Planning to Raise Capital

East West Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) is planning to raise up to Php5 billion from the sale of a maximum of 500,000,000 perpetual non-cumulative preferred shares at a par value of Php10 per share.

The company stated that the share sale would qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital of the bank under Basel 3 regulations. Moreover, the board of EastWest Bank approved a plan to venture into new businesses such as bancassurance and non-life insurance.

For the month of February, Overseas Filipino Workers’ remittances coursed through banks rose by 5.6% year-on-year to US$1.8 billion. On a year-to-date basis, remittances were up 5.8% to US$3.6 billion, from the US$3.4 billion registered in the January-to-February period last year. Major sources of cash remittances were the foam by mail process from United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Canada.

On the local fixed income market, prices of local government securities rose as as market stays sideline and defensive given shortened week. Yields across the curve dropped by 3.09 basis points with the short- and long-ends of the curve falling by 4.3 and 4.7 basis points, respectively.

The Philippine peso weakened against the greenback as the release of stronger-than-expected US retail sales data spurred dollar appreciation. Risk-off sentiment was likewise seen among investors on Ukraine’s persistent geopolitical tensions. The local currency shed 3.5 centavos to close at 44.490.

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