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Monday, April 15, 2024

Metrobank plans to issue $500m worth of bonds

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Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. is returning to the international bond market with the proposed issuance of at least $500 million worth of senior unsecured notes, with an option to upside.

“An offering may follow subject to market conditions,” Metrobank said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Monday.

Metrobank said the offering was rated Baa2 (Stable)/BBB- (Stable) by Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch Ratings.

Metrobank president Fabian Dee approved the plan on Feb. 23, 2024 as part of the bank’s $2-billion medium-term note program cleared by its board of directors in March 2017.

The bank said it would use the proceeds from the fund-raising activity to diversify its funding sources while supporting its operations.

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It tapped BofA Securities and UBS as joint global coordinators and bookrunners and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and First Metro Investments Corp. as joint bookrunners.

Metrobank, the country’s second-largest private bank in terms of assets, booked a record earnings of P42.2 billion in 2023, up 28.9 percent year-on-year.

This translated into a return on equity (ROE) of 12.5 percent last year, higher than 10.3 percent in 2022.

Meanwhile, Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), the thrift-banking unit of Metrobank, said in a separate disclosure to the stock exchange it also posted a record-high net income in 2023.

PSBank said 2023 net income reached P4.53 billion, up 23 percent from P3.68 billion in 2022. This translated into a return on equity of 11.7 percent.

The bank said the strong financial performance came from the double-digit growth in loans, higher investment revenues and muted costs brought by operational efficiencies.

Net interest income climbed 7 percent year-on-year to P11.83 billion, while operating expenses moderated by 1 percent due to continuous cost optimization efforts of the bank.

“We want to leverage on this momentum to expand our coverage, provide diversified offerings and further invest in technology to level up customer experience in the succeeding years,” PSBank president Jose Vicente Abad said.

Gross loan portfolio went up by 12 percent to P125 billion from P112 billion, led by auto loans which grew 24 percent.

PSBank said despite the increase in bank’s loan portfolio, its gross non-performing loan ratio decreased year-on-year to 3.3 percent from 5.5 percent, indicating better credit quality.

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