MANILA – Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) listed at the Philippine Dealings and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) on Friday its PHP23.7 billion 1.5-year fixed rate bond, which has a coupon rate of 5 percent.

In a press release, the bank said it raised the issue size from the PHP10 billion offering due to strong demand and even shortened the offer period to October 17 instead of October 19.

“The demand from both retail and corporate clients prompted us to increase our initial bond offering by more than two times beyond the PHP10 billion we announced to meet the very strong interest. The funds raised will mainly be used for the bank’s general capital requirements, including refinancing of some maturing issuances,” said Fernand Antonio Tansingco, Metrobank senior executive vice president and head of the Financial Markets Sector.

He said the “overwhelming response” to their bond offering “affirms that despite the uncertainties, there is still strong demand for high-quality issuers like Metrobank.”

PDEx president and chief executive officer Antonino Nakpil said “it is fitting that Metrobank, the bank that pioneered bond issuance post the change in BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) regulations back in 2018, is the one that pushes the level of annual bond listings above the PHP400 billion milestone.”

“The primary market is the bright spot for 2022 with the issuer community really showing that it is back with a vengeance after a lackluster 2021. Corporate and bank issuers have kept the wheels of public financing rolling and domestic investors have reciprocated with more than ample funds,” he said.

The bank said the latest debt paper issuance is part of its increased PHP200 billion Bond and Commercial Paper Program, which was approved by its Board of Directors on Dec. 15, 2021.

It tapped First Metro Investment Corp., ING Bank NV, Manila Branch, and Standard Chartered Bank as joint lead managers and joint book runners for the offer while these banks, along with Metrobank, are the selling agents. (PNA)