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BPI to divest from GoTyme Bank

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BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) will divest from digital lender GoTyme Bank as it plans to sell all the shares it gained from its merger with Robinsons Bank Corp. (RBC).

The bank will sell 752,056,290 common shares in GoTyme Bank Corp. at P1.20 per share or P902.47 million in total, it said in a disclosure to the local bourse on Thursday.

The sale was approved by the BPI’s board of directors in a meeting on March 20 and is subject to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) approval.

“We’re divesting because we felt there was insufficient alignment in terms of collaboration,” BPI Chief Finance Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer Eric Roberto M. Luchangco said in a Viber message.

BPI took over RBC’s 20% stake in GoTyme Bank after their merger was completed on Jan. 1.

Broken down, 744,099,587 common shares in the digital lender will be sold to GoTyme Financial Pte. Ltd. and 7,956,703 common shares will go to Giga Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd., BPI said.

Giga Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd. is based in Singapore and is a minority investor in GoTyme Bank, according to GoTyme Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel D. Clarke.

GoTyme Bank said in a separate statement that the board of directors of Gokongwei-led JG Summit Capital Services Corp. and Tyme Group has likewise approved plans to buy out BPI’s minority stake in the digital lender.

“We believe that the JG Summit Group re-establishing itself as the largest shareholder of GoTyme Bank puts us in an even stronger position on our journey to become the number one bank in the Philippines,” Mr. Clarke said.

“GoTyme Bank’s performance since its commercial launch in late 2022 has exceeded our expectations and increased our confidence that it will drive a significant improvement to how customers experience financial services in the Philippines. Along with our partner Tyme Group, the JG Summit Group will continue to provide the required support and investment to make GoTyme a game changer in the Philippine market,” JG Summit Holdings, Inc. President and CEO Lance Y. Gokongwei added.

GoTyme Bank is a partnership between the Gokongwei and Tyme groups. It is one of the six digital banks licensed by the BSP to operate in the country.

The online lender began commercial operations in October 2022 and is targeting to grow its customer base to 5 million by the end of this year from about 3 million currently. It also expects to turn a profit within the next three years.

Meanwhile, BPI’s attributable net income rose by 61.13% year on year to P54.82 billion in 2023. Its shares went up by 70 centavos or 0.57% to close at P122.50 apiece on Thursday. — AMCS

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