MANILA – Banking giant Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company plans to raise fresh capital to finance the expansion of its loan portfolio and acquisition of a stake in a credit card provider.

Metrobank told the local bourse that its board of directors approved on Wednesday a Stock Rights Offering (SRO) of up to 819,827,214 common shares equivalent to the remaining unissued shares from its authorized capital stock.

The timing and size of the transaction are still subject to offer price and receipt of regulatory approvals, as well as market and other conditions.

Metrobank is optimistic that the robust growth of the Philippines will continue to support the prospects for accelerated loan expansion across the various segments of the economy.

It seeks to capitalize on the growth opportunities of large cap corporates and the middle market and small to medium enterprises (SME) segments, its core franchise.

“The capital raising exercise is expected to enable the Bank to pursue these business prospects to sustain the loan growth momentum,” said the bank.

As it focuses on higher-return segments, Metrobank said a portion of the SRO proceeds would be used for the acquisition of the remaining 20-percent equity stake in Metrobank Card Corp. (MCC).

Metrobank has purchased a 20-percent stake from its joint venture partner ANZ Funds Pty. Ltd. (ANZ) for PHP7.4 billion following receipt of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) approval last December 29.

“The remaining 20 percent is set to be completed by third quarter (of) 2018 under the same terms,” it said.

The Bank has mandated UBS as joint global coordinator and joint book runner and First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) as joint global coordinator, joint book runner and issue manager.  (PNA)