First BanCorp prices largest Puerto Rico preferred stock issue

First BanCorp, the second largest Puerto Rico Financial Holding Company, announced Friday that it signed an underwriting agreement with UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico for the sale of $189.6 million of its non-convertible preferred stock (7,584,000 shares), which will pay a dividend rate of 7%.

The sale of the preferred stock is expected to close on Tuesday, September
30, 2003.

Commenting on this transaction, Mr. Angel Alvarez, Chairman & CEO of First BanCorp, said: “We are extremely pleased at the support our 55-year-old
institution has received from our Puerto Rico investors.  This preferred stock issue is being sold primarily in Puerto Rico, and we have had to increase the offer to meet the demand for our stock.”

“The $189.6 million First BanCorp Series E Preferred Stock issue is the largest transaction of its type to be completed in our market. The orders received for the transaction exceeded $200 million. This confirms the
reliability and credibility associated with First BanCorp`s name, as well as
the significant depth and maturity of the Puerto Rico capital market,” commented Mr. Miguel A. Ferrer, President of UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico.

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