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PNB, Globe Asiatique in talks over loan payment

by Roderick T. dela Cruz
[ ] January 11, 2011
Philippine National Bank is in talks with troubled property developer Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. over loan repayment, even as another bank began foreclosing the mortgages of the realtor.
“We do have exposure to Globe Asiatique,” PNB president Eugene Acevedo conceded. He declined to disclose the bank’s exposure to the builder, which was accused of financing its housing projects with fictitious loans from the government.
Acevedo said PNB was trying a different route in negotiating the terms with Globe Asiatique, compared with the approach taken by Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
RCBC took over several properties of Globe Asiatique through a public auction arising from the extrajudicial foreclosure of the pertinent mortgages.
RCBC foreclosed on the residential tower property being built by Globe Asiatique at the corner of Edsa and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and other projects in Pampanga because of the latter’s failure to pay its mortgage.
Despite the foreclosure, Bangko Sentral said the financial system remained sound and strong enough to absorb any losses stemming from the foreclosures.
“Bank exposures to Globe Asiatique do not constitute a threat to banking system at all. They are quite small relative to bank provisions and capital. If they turn bad, it is just one of those things chargeable to experience that banks can readily handle,” said Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.
Acevedo said PNB remained financially sound, with a net profit outlook growth of more than 16 percent in 2011. “We expect to grow faster this year,” he said.
The bank posted a net income of P2.45 billion in the first nine months of 2010, up 16 percent year-on-year.
PNB is focusing on consumer lending this year to take advantage of the rapidly expanding sector in the Philippines. “For 2011, consumer loans will be a very big thing for us,” Acevedo said.
The bank has allocated P400 million to refurbish 130 branches in two years. About 70 branches have already been renovated so far as a part of the bank’s rebranding strategy.
Acevedo said he also expects the merger with Allied Banking Corp., another bank controlled by taipan Lucio Tan, to be completed within the year.

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