Another blow for Equitable PCI

The Estrada impeachment trial and the resignation of two senior government officals has put a stop to the sale of Equitable PCI.

Friday can’t have been a very fruitful day for the bankers who were supposed to be pitching for the advisory role to sell Equitable PCI. Hong Kong’s finest M&A experts were supposed to descend on Manila in the hope of winning the mandate from the bank’s board – which wants to sell up to 35% of the bank. But politics intervened. And, as far as FinanceAsia can tell, many cancelled their trips.

Why? Well, adding to the many complications of the sale (see related stories) was the fact that anti-Estrada riots shut Manila down. A FinanceAsia staff member staying in the Peninsula Hotel was told not to leave the hotel.

Adding to the investment bankers’ misery was the resignation of finance minister Jose Pardo and central bank governor, Raphael Buenaventura on Friday afternoon around 4.00pm.

Any major change in bank ownership will require some sort of oversight by the central bank governor. Without one, it is difficult to see how any deal can get approved.

Meanwhile, Equitable PCI has been experiencing withdrawals as a result of its association with the Estrada impeachment trial. It is thanks to these withdrawals that the bank wants to sell a stake of itself in the first place and restore confidence.

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