Metrobank starts bond offering, looks to raise at least P10 billion

METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) on Thursday started its public offering of peso-denominated fixed-rate bonds to raise at least P10 billion in fresh funds.

The papers, which are a part of the Metrobank’s P200-billion bond program, have an indicative tenor of one-and-a-half years, the lender said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

Metrobank said they have the option to upsize the offer beyond the P10-billion plan.

The offer period will run from Oct. 6 to Oct. 19, while the listing date is Oct. 28.

“Proceeds will be used for general working capital needs,” Metrobank said.

The bonds have a fixed rate of 5% per year, with interest payable quarterly.

The minimum investment amount is P500,000 and increments of P100,000 afterwards.

First Metro Investment Corp., ING Bank N.V. Manila Branch and Standard Chartered Bank are the joint lead managers and joint bookrunners of the offer.

These firms are also the selling agents along with Metrobank.

Metrobank’s board of directors approved its P200-billion bond and commercial paper program in December 2021 meant to support the bank’s lending activities, refinance maturing issuances and diversify its peso funding sources over the next three years.

The last time Metrobank tapped the domestic debt market was in May 2021, when it raised P19 billion from its offer 5.25-year papers, above the P10-billion plan. This issuance made up the final tranche of its previous P100-billion bond and commercial paper program launched in November 2018.

Meanwhile, in July 2020, the bank sold $500 million in 5.5-year dollar-denominated notes to finance its short-term borrowings.

The lender booked an attributable net income of P7.6 billion in the second quarter, up from the P3.907 billion it posted in the same period last year.

This brought its first half net profit to P15.586 billion, 33% higher than the P11.687 billion recorded in the same period in 2021.

Metrobank’s shares rose by five centavos or 0.1% to close at P51 apiece on Thursday. — Keisha B. Ta-asan