BPI to exit PH digital lender GoTyme Bank for $16m

BPI to exit PH digital lender GoTyme Bank for $16m

Manila, Philippines. Photo: David Milmont/unsplash

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the banking arm of the Zobel de Ayala family, is selling its entire stake in GoTyme Bank, the digital banking venture of conglomerate JG Summit Holdings and South Africa’s Tyme.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, BPI said its board has agreed to sell its entire 15% stake in the Gokongwei-backed digital lender for 902.47 million pesos (about $16 million) to address what it claims is a “potential conflict of interest”.

“The sale is intended to address any potential conflict of interest created by the significant overlap in and similarity of product offerings of GoTyme Bank and BPI,” it said.

The Gokongwei family is among the largest shareholders in BPI, having acquired a 6% stake in the bank.

BPI told the PSE that the GoTyme divestment involves all of its 752.056 million shares, which are being sold to GoTyme Financial Pte Ltd and Giga Investments Holdings Pte.

The sale values GoTyme Bank, launched in the Philippines in October 2022, at about 6 billion pesos ($106 million). BPI assumed a minority stake in GoTyme Bank following its merger with Robinsons Bank in January 2024.

The divestment requires approval from the country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

GoTyme Bank is a partnership between Gokongwei family-led JG Summit and digital bank operator Tyme Group. It is one of the six digital banks licensed by the BSP to operate in the country.

The first bank to obtain the licence was Overseas Filipino Bank, a subsidiary of the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines.

The others that have secured digital banking licences are Tonik Digital Bank Inc (Philippines), whose holding company is Singapore-based Tonik Financial Pte Ltd; UNObank, which is backed by Singapore-based fintech company UNOAsia; and Aboitiz-led Union Digital Bank.

In March last year, GoTyme Bank’s parent, Tyme, announced raising $77.8 million in a pre-Series C funding round backed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings.

The new capital is being used to boost Tyme’s operations in South Africa and the Philippines and to expand in future into other Southeast Asian markets. Part of the fresh funding will also be used for a partial share buyback, Tyme said in a statement.

Edited by: Joymitra Rai

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