MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved Asia United Bank's acquisition of thrift bank Asiatrust Development Bank.
The BSP's policy-making Monetary Board made the formal approval during its regular meeting on Thursday.
Last February, the two banks signed an agreement for AUB to acquire Asiatrust's banking assets and assume its banking liabilities. However, the deal excludes Asiatrust's trust business.
"The acquisition is in line with our aspiration to make AUB a stronger and more formidable banking industry player as we create synergies with Asiatrust," said AUB president Abraham T. Co, in a statement.
The acquisition will increase AUB's total resources by more than P4 billion and expand its nationwide network presence to 102 branches.
This is AUB's third acquisition in three years, after taking over Rural Bank of Angeles in Pampanga in 2009 and Cooperative Bank of Cavite, which is still is awaiting BSP approval.
As of end-2011, AUB has assets of P50 billion and capitalization of P9 billion. Its return-on-equity ratio is at 12 percent, ranking it among the most profitable commercial banks in the country.
AUB is owned by a group of Filipino, Taiwanese and Singaporean investors. Republic Biscuit Corporation (Rebisco), the Philippines’ leading manufacturer, distributor, and exporter of snack food products for the past 49 years, is the biggest shareholder of the bank.