Maybank Philippines Inc. is making it known that it is in the mood for scaling up by acquiring a Philippine bank as part of the Maybank Group’s regional expansion and in preparation for more competition.
Maybank President and CEO Herminio Famatigan Jr. said the local banking industry is very competitive but that there remains room for further consolidation.
“They said Philippine banking industry is still fragmented because there are so many players. That’s why the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is calling for consolidation. The upside though…it’s a pretty good market. Businesses are growing. Companies are making money so credit awareness is much higher now. Banks are stronger because of recapitalization,” he told the BusinessMirror.
He added that they are in exploratory talks with a local bank for possible acquisition but doubted completing the deal within the year.
“Every opportunity to buy is a model in itself. If we’re going to buy a bank, it makes sense to buy a bigger bank [as] the idea is to scale- up,” he added.
When asked for comment about CIMB’s plan to enter the Philippine market, he said what they are looking at are the biggest banks in the country.
He said Maybank and CIMB are the two biggest banks in Malaysia.
“If CIMB does come in, I am sure CIMB and Maybank, ourselves, have other things to worry about than having ourselves present in the same market. We have our business model, we know what we’re going to do and we get support from our parent bank,” he said.
“It’s not so much on who’s coming in or who’s present in the market. When CIMB comes in, they don’t have to worry about us. Rather, we worry about them. There’s a lot of business to go around. I would think though [that] we’re going to be competing with each other on the Malaysian companies that are here,” he added.
He also said there’s a real seriousness in Maybank Group’s intention to scale up through acquisition or merger.
He said Maybank is big in the consumer market. Its retail lending, auto, credit cards and mortgage and other consumer business are doing well, including its corporate lending.
In the first six months, its consumer banking business grew 41 percent. Last year, it grew 40 percent.
On Thursday, Maybank and Manchester United launched the first international sports-franchise co-branded credit card in the Philippines—the Maybank-Manchester United Credit Card powered by Visa.
With the launch of this new credit card, Filipino fans of Manchester United—one of the Premier League’s (football) elite teams—will be able to enjoy exclusive privileges and discounts.
Like their neighbors in Malaysia and Singapore, Maybank-Manchester United credit cardholders from the Philippines will enjoy five times treat points every time the Manchester United Team wins a Premier League match and 10 times treats points when they shop at the Manchester United Megastore online at 10-percent discount.
Maybank and Manchester United rolled out their first co-branded credit card in Malaysia in 2011.