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Banco De Oro Universal Bank And Its Story Of Acquisitions

Banco de Oro Universal Bank is popularly known as Banco de Oro or BDO for short. Other people address it as BDO Unibank.

This banking institution is considered as one of the biggest banks in the Philippines, owned and managed by one the largest empire and proprietor of SM mall chains – the SM Group of Companies. The existence of this finance institution is brought about by the merger of Banco de Oro and Equitable PCI Bank.

Banco De Oro Universal Bank: Its Chronicle

Acme Savings Bank – this was its name when it started off as a frugal bank on January 2, 1968. During this time, Acme was one of the smallest finance institutions in the country and it only has two branches in the whole of Metro Manila.

The Sy Group assumed the management of Acme in November 1976. Sy Group of companies is owned by retail baron Henry Sy and had its name changed from Acme Savings Bank to Banco de Oro Savings and Mortgage Bank.

BDO, from being a frugal bank matured as a commercial bank in December 1994 and it was again renamed to Banco de Oro Commercial Bank. In September 1996, to show its new status as universal bank, it once again changed its name to Banco de Oro Universal Bank.

Founding of its subsidiary, the BDO Insurance Brokers is preceded by its being encumbered with insurance services in 1997. This finance institution started to establish partnership with some of the largest insurance business organizations and stretched its insurance accommodations. These insurance institutions included the Assicurazoni Generali S.P.A. and Jerneh Asia Berhad which is a member of Malaysia's Kuok Group. Eventually, Generali Pilipinas Life Assurance Company and Generali Pilipinas Insurance Company also tied up with the banking institution in March 2000.

BDO merger with Dao Heng Bank's Philippine subsidiary on June 15, 2001 brought about the expansion to up to 120 branches. Sixty-six of the subsidiary's 67 branches of the United Overseas Bank were sold to BDO after its Philippine subsidiary was determined to organize its operations from retail to wholesale banking.

On August 2005, the finance institution acquired some shares of Equitable PCI Bank, the Equitable PCI affiliate, Equitable CardNetwork, EBC Investments and waited for the approval of the court to acquire about 29 percent share of Social Security System.

December 1, 2005 has been one of the remarkable dates for Banco de Oro for its shares were regarded as part of the Philippine Stock Exchange Composite Index after a long time.

During the latter part of 2006, BDO president Nestor Tan announced the possibility of a three-way merger with another SM Group-managed bank – Chinabank.

These Are What It Has

The finance institution has its subsidiaries and affiliates. These include the BDO Capital and Investment Corporation, BDO Financial Services, BDO Insurance Brokers, BDO Card Corporation, BDO Realty Corporation, BDO Private Bank, BDO Securities Corporation, Generali Pilipinas Holding Company, and SM Keppel Land.

These days, the finance institution's shares are owned by different institutions - about 40.09 percent, 35.64 percent of that, foreign and 4.45 percent of that, Filipino, owned by the PCD Nominee Corporation, 27.41 percent of the share is owned by SM Investments Corporation. Shoemart on the other hand owns about 3.57 percent and the remaining 2.45 percent still belongs to the public.

The merger of Equitable PCI and Banco de Oro Universal Bank is now the largest in the country in terms of its assets.


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