August 10, 2021San Miguel Corporation (SMC) reported that its 100%-owned subsidiary, SMC Equivest Corporation (“SMC Equivest”), recently invested P5.5 billion capital into Bank of Commerce (“BankCom”) through the purchase of the latter’s preferred shares. The additional equity investment of SMC Equivest brings BankCom closer to its objective to have its commercial banking license upgraded to a universal banking license. The investment affirms SMC’s and SMC Equivest’s optimism and strong outlook of growth in the banking sector, and their commitment to support BankCom in expanding its business prospects and advancing towards becoming a universal bank. The net proceeds will be used to increase BankCom’s funding base for accelerating corporate and consumer loan growth, support capital expenditures in upgrading its banking technology, and offer a wider menu of financial services. “We’re confident that in this time of pandemic, the banking sector will be essential to our country’s economic recovery, and will provide invaluable help both to our industries and Filipinos. BankCom can help fulfill the needs of both businesses and consumers for loans and other financial services at this critical time,” said SMC president and COO and SMC Equivest chairman and president Ramon S. Ang. Apart from boosting the bank’s capacity for lending and investing, Ang said the capital infusion will also help enable the bank to improve operational processes through automation, strengthen cybersecurity, and offer product integration with Financial Technology players or fintechs and other banking partners. As of March 2021, prior to the infusion, BankCom was the 16th largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets and 17th in terms of capital.