Banking and finance in Philippines

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)

Led by Judy Hao, Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)'s sizeable banking and finance team advises lenders and borrowers on transactions. The firm's client base includes banks and companies, including some of the most prominent Filipino financial institutions. Andre Navato is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Judy Hao

Other key lawyers:

Andre Navato

Key clients

Philippine National Bank

ASA Philippines Foundation, Inc

Polymer Link Sdn Bhd.

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

Standard Chartered Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for PNB on the establishment of its medium-term note programme and issuance of notes from the programme.
  • Acted as counsel for ASA for the negotiation of a note facility agreement with Asian Development Bank involving a total amount of $3m.
  • Acted as counsel for Polymer Link Sdn Bhd. on the review of the guarantee agreement / facility agreement of $1m granted by Export Import Bank of Malaysia to Polymer Link Sdn Bhd.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano's banking practice stands out for the breadth of its work which encompasses advice on financings and refinancings, regulatory advice, and transactions in the debt capital market. It is particularly active assisting with the financing of energy projects, as well as corporate financing, while on the consumer banking side the team has advised fintech companies involved in remittances. The practice is also the retained counsel to a number of local and foreign banks in the Philippines. Practice head Mark Vergara specialises in project finance, while co-head Rosalia S. Bartolome-Alejo has a broad practice and the experienced Elmer Serrano is known for his corporate financing work. Erika Paulino is another name to note.

Other key lawyers:

Elmer Serrano; Erika Paulino

Testimonials

‘The team is not only professionally cordial and warm, but absolutely dedicated to a timely resolution of concerns to close the documentation, transactions or deal.’

Key clients

P.A. Alvarez Properties and Development Corporation

Asia United Bank

Union Bank of the Philippines

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Development Bank of the Philippines

Land Bank of the Philippines

Farallon Capital

Security Bank Corporation

KEB Hana Manila Branch

Shinhan Bank Manila Branch

Work highlights

  • Advised Asia United Bank and Union Bank of the Philippines, as arrangers and lenders, on the grant of an up to P7 billion term loan facilities in favour of the Widus Group, which own and operate the Widus Hotel and Casino.
  • Assisted a syndicate of lender financial institutions comprised of BDO Unibank, Inc., Development Bank of the Philippines, and Land Bank of the Philippines, and BDO Unibank, Inc. – Trust and Investments Group as facility agent, DSRA & paying agent, and collateral agent, in the grant of an additional term loan in favour of Private Infra Dev Corporation (PIDC).
  • Advised Farallon Capital on the grant of a $140 million mezzanine facility to UC Malampaya Holding Pte. Ltd.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan's banking and finance practice is highly experienced in financial transactions, and has recently been engaged to advise on the lender side of project financings. The team is also active in acquisition financing, the issuance of corporate notes, and securities issuance work. The practice is led by Vicente GerochiMarievic Ramos-Añonuevo is recognised for her work on financing transactions and her strong relationships with local and foreign financial institutions. Bhong Paulo Macasaet is another key contact in the team, as is project finance specialist Jan Celine Abaño-Ranada.

Practice head(s):

Vicente Gerochi

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc./BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

Philippine National Bank/PNB Capital & Investment Corporation

Bank of the Philippine Islands/BPI Capital Corporation

Standard Chartered Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

HSBC

Citigroup

MUFG Bank

Mizuho Bank

Deutsche Bank

San Miguel Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for BDO Capital & Investment Corporation for the Php40bn loan facility for the Vertis North Solaire Hotel and Resorts Project.
  • Acted as legal advisor to initial noteholders, Philippine National Bank, PNB Capital & Investment Corporation and East West Banking Corporation involving the Php14.5bn notes issuance by Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc.
  • Acted as counsel to the lead arranger BDO Capital & Investment Corporation and the lenders, involving the financing of Php11.0bn syndicated loan facility to South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation.

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) advises a client base of domestic and international banks on lending operations, including loan facilities and investments. The practice is led by Jaime Renato Gatmaytan, who also leads the firm's corporate and commercial team; elsewhere, Annalisa J. Carlota advises on project financing work across Asia.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Renato Gatmaytan

Other key lawyers:

Annalisa J. Carlota

Key clients

DBS Bank Ltd.

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted four international banks in extending a $300,000,000.00 facility to finance Aboitiz Power Corporation’s interest in 60% of the interest in AA Thermal Inc.
  • Advised Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank on an indemnity letter to be issued by Philippine Airlines, Inc. as security on existing credit lines to be increased by the client.
  • Advised The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited on a guarantee to be issued by a Philippine party to secure financing facilities to be extended to a Hong Kong affiliate of the guarantor.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices advises on banking and finance matters including the securitisation of bonds and M&A transactions involving banks. The practice is led by Pearl Grace Cabali and Ramil Bugayong. Bugayong also leads the capital markets team as well as jointly heading the infrastructure team, while Cabali handles banking, real estate and tax work.

Work highlights

  • Advised on the securitisation of Balai CMP bonds, including drafting and conducting legal reviews of relevant documents.
  • Acted as counsel to Welcome Credit Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of a Welcome Financial Group of Korea, and Flow Tiger Ventures Inc, a Philippine holding company, on the acquisition of 100% of the equity interest in Smart Bank, a Philippines rural bank.

Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres' broad banking and finance practice advises on the financing of projects, particularly in the energy sector, as well as providing regulatory advice. The firm is especially active in the fintech sector, where it draws on its links as part of the Baker McKenzie network to advise international banks entering the Filipino market. Christina Macasaet-Acaban leads overall corporate and commercial team. Dennis Quintero specialises in fintech and other regulatory work, while Alain Charles Veloso has varied expertise in this area.

Practice head(s):

Christina Macasaet-Acaban

Key clients

Prudential Plc

GPay Network PH Inc.

Grab Financial Services Philippines, Inc.

KPMG AZSA LLC

Manulife Philippines

Work highlights

  • Assisted GPay Network PH Inc. in obtaining licences from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as e-money issuer and remittance and transfer company.
  • Advising KPMG AZSA LLC on various structuring, due diligence, procurement and implementation issues on the construction of waste-to-energy facilities in Davao City.
  • Advising Grab Financial Services Philippines, Inc. on the registration and licensing requirements under Philippine law applicable to financing and/or lending operations to be undertaken by the client within the Philippines.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is particularly active in advising on loan facility agreements, acting for borrowers and lenders. The overall project development and finance group is led by Ma. Stella A. Batungbacal, Cristina Collantes-Garcia, and associate Nastasha Ortiz-Luis; Jose Salvador Mirasol is the key contact in the banking and finance practice. Mirasol is known for advising corporate clients and banks on financing and lending.

Other key lawyers:

Jose Salvador Mirasol

Key clients

Joyson Safety Systems International Finance B.V., (“JSSIFBV”) and Joyson Safety Systems (Philippines) Corporation (“JSSPC”)

Interserve Group Limited

THE HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED

Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM)

UBS

Work highlights

  • Acted as Philippine counsel to Interserve Group Limited on the negotiation with its lenders and others regarding the procurement of additional funding for the Interserve group of companies through amendments made to existing financing arrangements relating to: (i) a £168,265,567.38 senior-term facility agreement made between RMD Kwikform Philippines Inc., Interserve Group Limited, Montana FinCo Limited as borrower and global loan agency Services Limited as agent; and (ii) an intercreditor agreement made between, among others, RMD Kwikform Philippines Inc., Interserve Holdings Limited, Global Loan Agency Services Limited as senior agent and mezzanine agent, the senior lenders and the mezzanine lenders.
  • Acted as the Philippine counsel to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation on a senior facilities agreement dated 30 December 2019, as amended by the Amendment and Accession Deed dated 8 May 2020 (the “Facilities Agreement”) covering a term loan facility and revolving facility in the total amount of HK$390,000,000 (the “Loan”) by and among others Vibrant Growth Holdings Limited, and the Omnibus Security Agreement signed by Vega Projects Philippines Inc. on June 15, 2020.
  • Acted as Philippine counsel to UBS in connection with the share security issued by the Andersons Group, Inc. in favor of UBS AG, London in connection with the US$100,000,000 loan agreement between Worldwide Property Financing Limited, and UBS AG, dated as of 20 September 2019, and as amended on May 2020.  

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) is active in advising on the financing of projects in the energy and telecoms sectors, as well as providing regulatory advice to financial institutions. The practice also handles bank loan restructurings and insolvencies. Recently, the team has been involved in advising banks and non-bank financial institutions on the implications of the Philippines' Data Privacy Law. The practice is led by Raoul Angangco, Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta.

Key clients

Alternergy Mini Hydro Holdings Corporation (“Alternergy”)

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., Swiss Re International S.E., Swiss Re. Corporate Solutions Ltd., and Swiss Re Asia Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Alternergy Mini Hydro Holdings Corporation on negotiations with a major Philippine bank for the financing of a run-of-river hydro power project.
  • Advised Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., Swiss Re International S.E., Swiss Re. Corporate Solutions Ltd., and Swiss Re Asia Pte. Ltd. on the reinsurance regulations in the Philippines and compliance with the Data Privacy Act.

Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula

Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula is known for its work advising banks on loan agreements, including regular and syndicated loans. Managing partner Lily Gruba recently advised a bank on the maiden issuance of bank bonds. Antero Jose Caganda is sought out to assist with transactions involving banks, while Jorge Alfonso Melo is currently serving as general counsel to a publicly listed bank alongside his position at the firm. Angelo Advincula is another name to note.

Key clients

Asia United Bank Corporation

Philippine Bank of Communications

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Asia United Bank Corporation on its offering and issuance to the public of its “maiden” issuance of fixed-rate peso-denominated bonds. Additionally engaged, on a retainer basis, by Asia United Bank Corporation in the preparation, review, and finalisation of the documentation of its regular loan operations.
  • Advising Philippine Bank of Communications on all major business transactions and on the development of policies, in compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Assisted BDO Unibank, Inc. in the negotiation, drafting, and documentation of various loan agreements.

Disini & Disini Law Office

A specialist technology firm, Disini & Disini Law Office's banking and finance practice advises banks on their digital banking initiatives, as well as compliance with e-money and fintech regulations. The team also advises clients on data privacy regulations. The practice is led by JJ Disini, who is also a trustee of the Fintech Alliance, a fintech industry group.

Practice head(s):

JJ Disini

Key clients

ING Bank N.V. Philippines

Marcopay

UnionBank of the Philippines

Banana Fintech Services Corp

Quadx

Trusting Social

Fintech Alliance

Work highlights

  • Advising ING on matters involving BSP regulations regarding the launch of new digital banking products.
  • Assisted Marcopay with the procurement of an EMI licence.
  • Assisted Banana Fintech with the procurement of an EMI licence.

Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (IPLA), Member Firm of ZICO Law Network

Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (IPLA), Member Firm of ZICO Law Network was founded in 2018, with its banking practice formed and led by Felix Sy. The team is active in advising on regulatory banking matters as well as assisting foreign financial institutions seeking to enter the Philippine market.

Practice head(s):

Felix Sy

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos handles banking and finance matters including project finance and corporate borrowing, acting for both lenders and borrowers.

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso's banking and finance practice covers both transactional and regulatory matters. In addition to advising on project financing, the practice is also active in the fintech sector. The practice is led by Enrique Quiason and Ruelito Soriano; Eileen Pangalangan-Pardo is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Quiason; Ruel Soriano

Other key lawyers:

Eileen Pangalangan-Pardo

Key clients

MarcoPay, Inc.

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

Tonik Digital Bank, Inc.

First Gen Corporation

First Philippine Holdings Corporation

Energy Development Corporation

Rockwell Land Corporation

Skycable Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised BDO Capital as lenders’ counsel on the refinancing of project finance facilities for a number of renewable energy companies in the Philippines.
  • Represented MarcoPay, Inc. before the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippine Central Bank) in order to obtain an e-Money Issuer licence for the said company.
  • Advising TDB, the first all-digital bank in the Philippines, on corporate secretarial services and other legal issues.

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako's banking and finance practice is noted for its work in banking litigation. The key figures in the team are Rommel U Mercado and Jocelyn R. Esguerra-Dee.