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Bank of the Philippine Islands expects $5bln remittances

BPI positive it will surpass $4.5 billion in 2009 as US and global economy rebounds.

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is looking to capture at least $5 billion of cash transfers expected from Filipinos working abroad this year to sustain double-digit growth in its remittance business.

The Ayala-led institution posted a 15-percent increase in remittances facilitated in 2009 to $4.5 billion, cornering a market share of 26 percent, according to senior vice president Teresita Tan.

Tan, who heads BPI's overseas banking and channel services group, on Friday said remittances should be more robust this year as the global economy recovers after its worst downturn in decades in 2009.

Remittances by Filipinos based in the recession-hit US continued to account for the biggest slice of inflows captured by the bank in 2009, although the volume was lower compared with year-ago figure, she said.

Tan, in an interview at the sidelines of the Chamber of Thrift Banks’ annual convention at Dusit Hotel in Makati City, said the growth in BPI's remittance volume last year was driven mainly by the “strong” inflows from the Middle East and Europe.

"Remittances by sea-based workers were particularly strong," the executive, who is also president of mobile savings bank BPI Globe BanKO, told reporters.

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