'Oxygen to keep patient alive': Banker calls for sustained lending to small firms

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2021 12:28 PM

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MANILA - A Philippine banker is calling on his colleagues in the banking sector to sustain lending to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid challenges brought by COVID-19, likening it to an oxygen support system for a patient.

Rolando Avante, president and CEO of Philippine Business Bank, said in an interview with ANC on Thursday that there "can be a further worsening of the banking books" due to MSME lending, but noted banks will take on more provisioning to cushion risks from the dragging effect of the pandemic.

Avante said PBB is looking to raise capital this year, either through the share sale at the Philippine Stock Exchange, or an entry of a strategic investor.