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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Metrobank buys out credit card partner for P14.8 billion

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By Lee C. Chipongian

The Ty family-controlled Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank) will pay P14.8 billion for control of its credit card company, Metrobank Card Corp. (MCC) after it buys out the shares of Australian partner ANZ.

The bank disclosed yesterday that it will initially purchase 20 percent of ANZ Funds Pty Ltd.’s stake in MCC for P7.4 billion. It will acquire the remaining 20 percent of ANZ shares which will increase its current 60 percent share to 100 percent, next year.

“Subject to regulatory approvals, Metrobank will purchase 20 percent of MCC for a consideration of P7.4 billion.  The sale of the remaining 20 percent will be completed by the third quarter of 2018 on the same terms,” according to a bank statement that also quotes Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee.

Dee said the transaction will enable the bank to expand its retail business. “We expect to leverage on better operational efficiencies as we eventually make MCC a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metrobank,” he noted.

Metrobank and the ANZ unit entered into a joint venture deal in 2003 with the latter taking in 40 percent of MCC and the rest with the local bank.

Dee commented that the partnership has made it possible for MCC to have a dominant share of the credit card market for a lot of years. He expects this to continue as they assume full control of the company which will be “sustained on the back of robust consumption spending.”

In 2016, MCC was the country’s market leader in terms of credit card receivables, based on data from the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP). It had total assets of P60.4 billion at the end of last year, and a return on average equity of 36.3 percent.

“MCC is the leading provider of credit cards in the Philippines with more than 1.5 million cards in force (CCAP data),” according to Metrobank.

Metrobank is the second biggest universal and commercial bank in the country with total assets of P1.62 trillion as of end-June this year. ANZ, on the other hand, is Australia’s fourth largest financial institution, and based on reports, is currently consolidating its businesses in the region to focus more on its domestic market.

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