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Metrobank raises P17.5B

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Metrobank 032018 - Metrobank raises P17.5B

METROPOLITAN BANK & Trust Co. (Metrobank) raised P17.5 billion in fresh funds via fixed-rate bonds, higher than its initial target.

In a regulatory filing Thursday, the Ty-led lender said it successfully raised P17.5 billion via the three-year bonds after completing its public offer last March 29.

The three-year debt papers carry a coupon rate of 6.3% to be paid quarterly until April 2022.

“The oversubscription of the bonds also allowed Metrobank to price at the tighter end of the indicative price guidance,” the lender’s statement read.

The bonds will be issued and listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. on April 11.

The amount raised was higher than the bank’s initial target of P10 billion as it accommodated strong demand from institutional and individual investors.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank served as joint lead managers and bookrunners for the transaction. The global banks also acted as selling agents alongside Metrobank and First Metro Investment Corp.

The fund-raising activity marks the third tranche of Metrobank’s P100-billion bond program, bringing the issue size so far to P45.5 billion.

In November, the bank raised P10 billion from the issuance of two-year fixed-rate bonds, carrying an interest rate of 7.15%. This was reopened in December to raise an additional P18 billion.

Circular No. 1010 issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in August simplifies the process for universal and commercial banks looking to raise funds via bonds, aligning the industry with standards for other privately-owned firms.

The reform forms part of streamlined rules designed to deepen capital markets.

Apart from Metrobank, BDO Unibank, Inc., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. have recently raised capital via peso-denominated bonds to diversify funding sources and expand their businesses.

China Banking Corp., Security Bank Corp. and Philippine National Bank have also established their own peso-denominated bond programs worth P75 billion, P50 billion and P100 billion, respectively, to be issued through tranches.

Metrobank booked a net income of P22 billion in 2018, up 21% from P18.2 billion the previous year, on the back of a healthy expansion in loans.

Shares in Metrobank closed at P79 apiece on Thursday, down 25 centavos or 0.32%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal

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