By Cecilia Yap
Philippine National Bank is seeking to dispose of three prime properties that it values at about $1 billion as early as this year, a person familiar with the plan said.
The lender owned by billionaire Lucio Tan plans to realize the value of a 10-hectare property along Manila Bay, as well as an office building and a prime lot in the nation’s main financial district in Makati City, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the plan has yet to be approved by shareholders and regulators.
PNB said last week that the board approved a plan on its prime properties to help reduce low-earning assets and improve revenue, and a number of options were being considered.
A spokesman for the bank declined to comment, saying details of the plan are confidential. It’s unclear whether independent assessments would value the properties at this level amid the pandemic.
The bank will still be able to find demand for the assets despite the coronavirus, according to David Leechiu, chief executive officer at Leechiu Property Consultants Inc.
“If they are reasonable in pricing, they will get a sale,” Leechiu said, pegging the valuation of the properties at 43.7 billion pesos ($900 million).
The nation’s fifth-largest lender has joined other Philippine banks in setting aside more cash for bad loans during the outbreak. The former government-owned lender booked additional impairment provisions of 5.1 billion pesos ($105 million) in the second quarter.
Shares of PNB fell 0.2% on Wednesday afternoon, taking this year’s decline to 30%. The Philippine financial sector index has slid 39%.
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.