Banco de Oro had its humble beginnings on January 2, 1968, when it began as a thrift bank called Acme Savings Bank. With two branches in Metro Manila, Acme was one of the smallest banks in the Philippines at the time. In November 1976, Acme was obtained by the Sy Group, the group of companies presently owned by retail tycoon Henry Sy, and relabelled Banco de Oro Cost savings and Home Mortgage Bank. In December 1994, BDO ended up being a business bank.
To show the bank’s new status, BDO was relabelled Banco de Oro Commercial Bank, and in September 1996, BDO became a universal bank, which resulted in the bank’s name being altered to the present Banco de Oro Universal Bank. It is among the numerous banks owned by a Chinese-Filipino in the Philippines (others includeMetrobank and Chinabank). BDO ultimately became associated with insurance services in 1997 (it is a bancassurance firm) by establishing a subsidiary called BDO Insurance coverage Brokers.
In 1999, BDO expanded its insurance coverage services through partnerships with Assicurazoni Generali s.p.a., among the world’s largest insurance coverage companies, and Jerneh Asia Berhad, a member of Malaysia’s Kuok Group. Later, BDO collaborate with its insurance coverage affiliates, which are Generali Pilipinas Life Guarantee Company and Generali Pilipinas Insurer, in March 2000
On June 15, 2001, BDO combined with Dao Heng Bank’s Philippine subsidiary, with BDO as the surviving entity. The merger increased the variety of BDO’s branches from 108 branches prior to the merger to 120 after the merger.
In August 2003, BDO obtained the regional banking system of Banco Santander with its commercial, trust and derivatives licenses to become BDO Private Bank, a completely owned subsidiary of BDO Unibank. The primary objective the BDO Private Bank is to produce market share in the Personal Banking/Modern Affluent Market section by penetrating essential locations in BDO’s network. This is to enhance and check out how the BDO Group can service all the financial and investment needs of the customer.
In late April 2005, United Overseas Bank sold 66 out of its Philippine subsidiary’s 67 branches to BDO after UOB’s Philippine subsidiary is set to rationalize its operations from retail to wholesale banking. All UOB branches completed integration into the BDO network on March 22, 2006, increasing the number of Banco de Oro branches to 220.
On August 5, 2005, Banco de Oro and an SM subsidiary, SM Investments, bought 24.76% of the shares of Equitable PCI Bank, the Philippines’ third-largest bank, and 10% of an Equitable PCI affiliate, Equitable CardNetwork, one of the Philippines’ largest credit card issuers, from the family that founded the bank, the Go family. BDO has also been offered a further 10% by another Equitable PCI affiliate, EBC Investments, and a deal is being made to buy (awaiting court approval) the 29% stake of the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippines’ pension fund. Subsequent acquisitions enabled the bank to acquire a 34% stake in Equitable PCI. On December 1, 2005, Banco de Oro shares were listed as a component of the PSE Composite Index for the first time. On January 6, 2006, Banco de Oro, with the SM Group of Companies, submitted to Equitable PCI a merger offer with Banco de Oro as the surviving entity.
Under the proposal, Banco de Oro will swap 1.6 of its shares for every 1 Equitable PCI share. As a second option, Banco de Oro also offered to base the swap ratio on the book values of both banks to be assessed by an independent accounting firm using International Accounting Standards (IAS). To effect the merger, Banco de Oro needs consent of Equitable PCI shareholders representing 67% of Equitable PCI. These include the Social Security System (SSS) with 29%, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) with 14%, and the family of Equitable PCI chairman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez with eight percent. Banco de Oro said that the proposed “merger of equals” would create the country’s second biggest bank with assets of about P608 billion (as of June 2007), just next to Metrobank with P669.1 billion (as of June 2007), the current banking industry leader in the Philippines. Bank of the Philippine Islands is the current third biggest bank in the Philippines with P592.6 billion (as of June 2007).
Banco de Oro has asked Equitable PCI to study their offer until January 31, 2006. Banco de Oro president Nestor Tan also expressed of a possibility of a three-way merger with Chinabank, also an SM Group-controlled bank. The bank president also said that the proposed Banco de Oro-Equitable PCI merger would consolidate the strengths of Banco de Oro and Equitable PCI in consumer lending and result in a dominant player in middle-market lending and a market leader in money remittance volumes, branch banking, trust and corporate banking with the combined network of 685 branches located in the Philippines and abroad. Although Romualdez and the GSIS have shown stiff opposition to the BDO-Equitable PCI merger, the SSS is still studying the possibility of a merger.
In fact, UBS studied the deal and claims that the merger through the stock swap option is a “win-win” situation. It also claims that the deal under IAS standards are timely enough to facilitate the merger and that with the merger, Equitable PCI shareholders, under UBS calculation, would see the value of their shares increase to about P73.60 per share, more than the fair value target price of 67 pesos. With Equitable PCI and BDO’s merging fully realized. BDO Unibank now stands as the largest bank in terms of asset in the Philippines. With offices in Manila, San Juan, Ortigas Center area in Pasig/Mandaluyong and in Makati, the Philippines’ central business district, with its newly renovated BDO Corporate Center situated at the former Equitable PCI Bank Tower along Makati Avenue.
On 2009, BDO completed its acquisition of the Philippine operations of GE Money Bank with an agreement for GE to acquire a minority stake in BDO. In a definitive agreement signed by the two institutions, GE Capital will acquire a 1.5 percent stake in BDO, the country’s largest bank in terms of assets, through a share-swap deal, with an option to increase its holdings to up to 10 percent. The takeover will involve absorption of GE Money Bank’s 31 branches, 30,000 customers, and 38 ATMs nationwide.
On January 2008, Viva Films chairman Vic del Rosario announced that Viva Communications expects to raise ₱1.1 billion (1 US dollar = 41.48 pesos) through approval of the initial public offering (IPO) by the Philippine Stock Exchange, on listing date of March 5. It plans to sell up ₱92.8 million new shares and ₱49.9 million secondary shares at ₱12.93 / share (offer is 35% of the company’s issued and outstanding capital stock). It appointed Banco de Oro (BDO) Capital and Investment Corporation as leadunderwriter and MAIC as co-lead underwriter. Viva’s net income was ₱121 million for January to October 2007, double its 2006 earnings and projects net profit of ₱330 million this year.
On February 1, 2008, Fitch Ratings announced: “The Outlook on BDOU’s ratings is stable given a benign economic environment. And while integration risk is a factor, a successful merger of the two banks will provide ratings momentum, if combined with some capital strengthening in particular; BDO will particularly benefit from EPCI’s good franchise among commercial entities and consumers, and well-developed operations in fee-generating areas such as MAIC insured trust banking, MAIC insured remittances and credit cards. Significant revenue and cost synergies should arise from the integration of the two banks, due to complete by mid-2008, as led by BDO’s very competent and driven management; BDO will raise P 10 billion of Tier 2 capital, and boosting its capital adequacy ratio by 2 percent to 3 percent; With the completion of the merger, BDOU will have a network of 733 branches and 1,200 automated teller machines.”
On September 17, 2008, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced “due to the uncertainty relating to the financial condition of Lehman Brothers, Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. is setting aside provisions totaling 3.8 billion pesos (80.9 million dollars) to cover its exposure to said entity.” Banco de Oro failed to disclose the extent of its exposure to Lehman paper, stating “only that its balance sheet should be adequately covered from potential losses arising from its Lehman exposure due to MAIC insurance reimbursement. The provisions will come from reallocation of excess reserves and from additional provisions in the current period.”
Banco de Oro, capitalised at ₱89.8 billion, closed 15.4% down to ₱33. Banco de Oro Unibank said, however, on September 19 “it had a total exposure of $ 134 million to bankrupt U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers: This represents the face value of securities held in MAIC trust accounts by the bank. Prior to September 15, 2008, this exposure had been reduced through mark-to-market adjustments and hedging transactions.” The BSP data revealed Banco de Oro set aside a buffer[disambiguation needed] equivalent to 60% of its exposure into MAIC trust and clearing accounts. Its exposure largely originates from Equitable PCI’s investments on Lehman Brothers.