Philippine lender RCBC studying possible stake sale

MANILA, June 23 Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:30am EDT

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MANILA, June 23 (Reuters) - Philippine lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) is studying option to sell a stake to raise capital to comply with regulations and support the bank's growth plans, its chief executive said late on Monday.

Manila's central bank in January imposed stiffer capital requirements under the Basel III framework, prompting many Philippine lenders to look for ways to raise capital buffers.

"Options to raise capital include a specific investor capital infusion," Lorenzo Tan, president and CEO with RCBC, said in a mobile text message response to Reuters questions on whether it is selling a stake.

Tan said the option will be similar to the capital infusion of private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd and International Finance Corp (IFC), the private sector financial arm of the World Bank Group, in 2011.

"The bank is looking to increase its capital base to address the regulatory and growth requirements," he added.

On Thursday, the lender raised 7 billion pesos ($159.60 million) of Basel III-compliant unsecured subordinated Tier 2 notes.

Last year, RCBC raised 8.2 billion pesos in common equity through various investors.

($1 = 43.86 Philippine pesos)

(Reporting by Siegfrid Alegado; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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