Metrobank, BPI to raise funds from debt papers

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METROPOLITAN BANK & Trust Co. (Metrobank) and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) are set to issue peso-denominated bonds to raise fresh funds.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, the Ty-led Metrobank said its board of directors approved the establishment of a local currency bond and commercial paper program of up to P100 billion at its regular meeting on Sept. 19.

Metrobank said its bond program can be completed in one or more tranches with tenors of at least three months. The timing of the issuances will be subject to market conditions.

“The objective of the program is to support Metrobank’s lending activities and to diversify funding sources,” Metrobank said in the disclosure.

Meanwhile, the Ayala-led BPI is also set to offer P50 billion via peso-denominated bonds or commercial papers as approved during its board meeting on Sept. 19, it said in a separate disclosure on Thursday.

Banks can now raise fresh funds through corporate bonds with greater ease starting this month, as new rules do away with having to secure approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to deepen domestic capital markets.

Earlier, UnionBank of the Philippines and BDO Unibank, Inc. announced that they set up their own peso-denominated bond programs of up to P20 billion and P100 billion, respectively.

A number of banks have been conducting various fund-raising activities ahead of tighter risk management requirement by the central bank which will take effect next year under the international Basel 3 standards.

Metrobank is currently offering P5 billion worth of long-term negotiable certificates of time deposit with an option to upsize.

Last month, BPI raised $600 million through a drawdown from its $2-billion medium term note program, which fetched a 4.25% coupon.

Metrobank shares closed at P64 apiece yesterday, down 90 centavos or 1.39%.

Meanwhile, BPI shares finished at P80 each, up 50 centavos or 0.63%. — KANV