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Metrobank raises P60B from SRO

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METROBANK will raise up to P20 billion in fresh funding. — BW FILE PHOTO

METROPOLITAN BANK & Trust Co. (Metrobank) has completed its stock rights offer (SRO), raising P60 billion to fund its business operations and expansion.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Thursday, the Ty-led Metrobank announced that it has completed its P60-billion rights offering, through which it sold 799.8 million common shares priced at P75 apiece. The shares were listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday.

“The offer was taken up entirely by the bank’s existing shareholders, with broad support seen across the shareholder base resulting in a substantial oversubscription,” the lender said in the disclosure.

Proceeds from the capital raising exercise will be used for loan expansion across the various segments of the economy, leveraging on its sales and distribution network.

Aside from this, Metrobank said the fresh capital will also be used to fund the acquisition of the remaining 20% stake of ANZ Funds Pty. Ltd. (ANZ) in credit card provider Metrobank Card Corp., thereby fully owning the credit card issuer.

The final tranche of the acquisition is set to be completed next quarter.

“The additional capital from the offer is expected to further enhance the bank’s capital ratios, keeping it well above the Philippine Basel III requirements,” the lender added.

Last month, debt watcher Moody’s Investors Service said Metrobank’s rights offering will boost its capital buffers, tagging it as “credit positive.

The improvement, Moody’s said, would bring the lender’s Tier 1 ratio well above other Philippine banks’ capital ratios.

As of end-December 2017, the bank had a CET1 ratio of 15.6% and a total capital adequacy ratio of 18.1%, well above the minimum regulatory requirements.

UBS AG, Hong Kong Branch acted as joint global coordinator, joint bookrunner and international underwriter of the offer, while Metrobank’s First Metro Investment Corp. served as joint global coordinator, joint bookrunner, issue manager and domestic lead underwriter. DBS Bank Ltd. also serves as co-manager and co-underwriter.

Aside from Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. also announced plans to conduct SROs expected to raise fresh capital worth P50 billion and P15 billion, respectively.

Last year, Metrobank posted a P18.2-billion core net income in 2017, up by 10% from the same period in 2016, on the back of robust growth in its loans and deposits.

Metrobank shares closed at P81.80 apiece yesterday, down 15 centavos or 18% from Wednesday’s finish. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal