METROPOLITAN BANK & Trust Co. (Metrobank) is looking to raise at least $500 million via an issuance of dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes, it said on Monday.

“Metropolitan Bank & Trust … is planning to issue Reg S only dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes of $500 million, with option to upsize. An offering may follow subject to market conditions,” the lender said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

“Proceeds will be used to diversify the bank’s funding sources while supporting its operations,” Metrobank said.

The planned note issuance was approved by Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee on Feb. 23, the lender said.

The notes will be issued out of the bank’s $2-billion medium-term note program approved by its board of directors in March 2017.

Metrobank has tapped BofA Securities and UBS as joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the issuance, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the First Metro Investment Corp. being mandated as joint bookrunners.

In July last year, Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the “Baa2” long-term deposit ratings of Metrobank and kept its stable outlook.

Meanwhile, in May 2023, Fitch Ratings revised its outlook for Metrobank to stable from negative, and affirmed the lender’s long term issuer default ratings at “BBB-.”

Metrobank saw its attributable net profit increase by 28.87% to P42.238 billion in 2023 from P32.776 billion in 2022.

The bank’s shares rose by 65 centavos or 1.06% to close at P61.85 apiece on Monday. — K.B. Ta-asan