METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) has raised $500 million via its offer of senior unsecured fixed-rate notes to finance its short-term borrowings.

In a filing with the local bourse on Wednesday, Metrobank said the Regulation-S only 5.5-year notes were priced at a coupon rate of 2.125% payable semi-annually.

Metrobank said the papers were priced at US Treasury spreads of T+200 basis points (bps) after an initial price guidance of T+235 bps area.

The bank said the order book was five times oversubscribed, with most allocation predominantly to Asia (81%) and the remaining to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (19%).

“This bond issuance will further enhance our business strength and optimize our capital structure especially in this current market environment,” Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee was quoted as saying in the filing.

Sought for details, the bank said the offer period was launched and closed on July 7, supported by robust investor demand.

“The target issuance date is July 15, while listing date follows on July 16 in SGX-ST (Singapore Exchange Securities Trading),” Metrobank said in a text message.

Proceeds from the offer will be used to tap longer-term offshore funding, to diversify the bank’s funding sources, and to finance maturing short-term debt obligations

The offer marked Metrobank’s first senior note issue in the international capital markets.

UBS AG Hong Kong Branch and First Metro Investment Corp. served as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the transaction. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and SMBC Nikko Securities, Inc. acted as joint lead managers.

“The successful 5.5-year dollar-denominated issuance will allow us to diversify our funding sources and shore up our financial position as we prepare for a bounce back and recovery,” Metrobank Head of Financial Markets Sector Fernand Antonio A. Tansingco was quoted as saying.

Metrobank’s shares ended trading at P37.10 apiece on Wednesday, down by 90 centavos or by 2.37% from its previous close. — L.W.T. Noble