5 banks move to cover $412M Hanjin loans as shipbuilder seeks rehab

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2019 09:02 AM | Updated as of Jan 11 2019 12:33 PM

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MANILA -- Five Philippine banks will take collective action to cover some $412 million in loans to South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin's local unit, in what is shaping up to be the biggest corporate default in history, the central bank said Friday.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is "monitoring" the banks' actions and there is "no cause for worry," said Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier. The case was first reported on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Hanjin's loan exposure accounts for just 0.24 percent of the Philippines' total gross loans or 2.48 percent of FCDU or foreign currency deposit unit loans.

"We are aware of this. We are monitoring. There is no cause for worry," Fonacier told ANC's Early Edition.

Hanjin's creditors include BDO Unibank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Metrobank, LandBank of the Philippines and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, according to the Inquirer.

The creditors are "very well-capitalized" and "it's not something to worry about" as far as the Philippine financial system is concerned, Fonacier said.

"That's the best move they've taken. They will be taking action collectively as a group of creditors," she said, refusing to elaborate.

BDO Capital president Ed Francisco said the Hanjin default "won't have a big impact on the industry."

"The Hanjin exposure is big so it is good the banks will work together to see how we can get our money back," he told ANC.

-- with a report from Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News