June 5, 2012 / 9:32 AM / 5 years ago

Philippines' BDO $1 bln rights offer priced at 25 pct discount

MANILA, June 5 (Reuters) - BDO Unibank Inc, the Philippines’ biggest lender by assets, has priced its $1 billion stock rights issue at a 25 percent discount to the current price in what would be the country’s largest-ever share sale, one of the underwriters said on Tuesday.

BDO set a price of 48.60 pesos a share for the offer, well below its closing price of 65.05 pesos on Tuesday, according to BDO Capital & Investment Corp.

The offer was priced at the high end of the bank’s indicative 20-25 percent discount range. The offer runs from June 18 to 27.

BDO will raise up to 43.5 billion pesos ($1 billion) from its sale of up to 896 million common shares, the second-largest rights offering in Asia excluding Japan so far this year.

The bank, controlled by the nation’s richest man Henry Sy, aims to shore up its capital base in anticipation of higher loan demand, as the Southeast Asian nation seeks to attract more investment in infrastructure.

Manila plans to roll out at least eight public-private partnership projects this year worth around 130 billion pesos, including new airports, an expressway, and a water supply project.

President Benigno Aquino wants to attract investors for these projects during his seven-day tour of London and the United States this week. BDO Chairman Tessie Sy-Coson, Sy’s eldest daughter, is part of Aquino’s business entourage during the trip.

Sy’s flagship conglomerate SM Investments Corp and affiliates own more than 50 percent of BDO, which is also partly owned by the International Finance Corp and United Overseas Bank .

Citigroup Global Markets Inc, Deutsche Bank AG (Hong Kong Branch), J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd have been tapped as international lead managers and underwriters. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Rosemarie Francisco and Chris Gallagher)

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