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Published on : Sep 19, 2013

China Banking Corp. publicly known as China Bank, is looking to strengthen its SME lending division by purchasing a 67% stake in the Planters Development Bank. The regulatory approval for Henry-Sy led China Bank\'s acquisition of the Planters Development Bank came on Wednesday. Further details of the agreement were not immediately disclosed by any company.

With this strategic acquisition, China Bank now owns around two-third shares in the Planters Development Bank. From customers\' standpoint, this is the coming together of China Bank\'s 93-year industry standing as a bank supporting entrepreneurs and Planters Bank\'s expertise as the leading financial support institution for small and medium enterprises.

This announcement caused a 4.35% jump in China Bank shares, with the company\'s shares outperforming the main index. Phillipine\'s biggest lender, BDO Unibank, is also controlled by The Sy group.

With this acquisition, China Bank is moving closer to its current business strategy of strengthening its SME lending capabilities, expanding its middle market portfolio and growing its network across the country. This current growth streak is being touted as the strongest in the bank\'s history thus far.

Today, the bank boasts 333 branches across the country, supplemented with a country-wide network of 544 automated teller machines. The bank\'s aggressive growth strategies can be gauged from the fact that it had 148 branches in early 2006, when its expansion program was first put into action. 

The China Bank\'s total assets amount to P345.6 billion.