Philippines' East West prices IPO at low end of range-underwriter

MANILA, April 18 Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:31am EDT

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MANILA, April 18 (Reuters) - East West Banking Corp, a medium-sized Philippine lender, has priced its initial public offering at 18.50 pesos per share, the low end of its indicated price range, an underwriter said on Wednesday.

The country's second IPO this year to be launched on Friday may raise up to 5.2 billion pesos ($122 million), lower than the initial target of 6.6 billion pesos. The bank had set a price range of 18.50 to 23.50 pesos.

East West, owned by one of the country's largest family-owned conglomerates, Filinvest Development Corp, intends to use the proceeds to fund expansion.

The offering begins on the same day GT Capital Holdings Inc, the flagship of Philippine banking tycoon George Ty, debuts on Manila's stock exchange after its 21.6-billion-peso share sale.

Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan were tapped as bookrunners and international lead managers of the East West offering. Local firm Unicapital Inc is the domestic lead underwriter.

The Philippines' main index, which has risen about 18 percent this year, among the biggest gainers in Asia, set a new record high on Thursday on upbeat outlook for the domestic economy. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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