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(From BusinessWorld (Philippines))
The merger of Banco de Oro Universal Bank (BDO) and Equitable PCI Bank (EPCI) may well spur another round of merger activities, Fitch Ratings said.
In a statement, the rating firm noted that while it welcomes such development, particularly if it results in stronger balance sheets for certain banks, expensive bank acquisitions could put pressure on the acquirers' ratings.
Following a bout of mergers in the late-1990s, there has since been little further consolidation of the Philippine banking industry, "which remains quite fragmented, contributing to banks' high cost bases."
Fitch made the comment as it …