Maybank injects $100 mln into Philippine unit to expand network

MANILA Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:10am EST

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MANILA Jan 25 (Reuters) - Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) , Southeast Asia's fourth-largest bank by assets, is injecting $100 million into its Philippine unit as it seeks to quadruple its network in the fast-growing economy over the next five years, it said on Friday.

Maybank, Malaysia's largest lender, plans to double its network in the Philippines to 100 branches by 2014, and expand it further to 200 branches by 2018, President and Chief Executive Abdul Wahid Omar said.

"We see substantial demand for financial services that Maybank and our investment banking and stock broking subsidiary, Maybank ATR Kim Eng, can meet in the country," he said in a statement.

Maybank's top officials launched on Friday the bank's new Manila head office, located in the Bonifacio Global City business district.

The Philippine economy is forecast to grow 6 percent to 7 percent this year and could sustain this pace of expansion in the next few years, Abdul Wahid said.

Maybank Philippines, the country's 24th-largest bank in terms of assets, had a pretax profit of $20 million in 2012, up from $12 million the year before and $5 million in 2010.

The Philippine central bank, in a circular issued in November last year, gave Maybank Philippines and other foreign banks three years to list on the local bourse. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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