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Raise your bets: EastWest Bank may take in foreign investors, but…

They can afford to be picky given their stellar income growth.

EastWest Bank can take its time in choosing the right path for its last capital-raising initiative, so says its vice chairman and chief executive officer Antonio Moncupa, Jr.

In an interview with ANC’s Cathy Yang, Moncupa neither confirmed or denied reports that the bank is being wooed by Korean banks into buying a 20% stake, instead noting that the bank has several options to consider as it eyes to raise more funds.

“Our board, as a matter of philosophy, have always said that we are open to all possibilities. Which possibility we get into is a function of what we think will optimize the interest of our stakeholders, employees, and customers,” Moncupa said when asked about rumors that Korean firms Shinhan Bank and KB Kookmin Bank are courting EastWest as strategic investors.

EastWest boasts of a 60% surge in net income during the first semester of 2017.

“We like to think that we are undervalued and underappreciated in the past because we were trading below book value,” he added, noting that EastWest shares are currently priced at 1.3x book value.

Looks like it’s a nudge to jack up the bids!

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