RP'S  LARGEST  LENDER, METROBANK  POSTS  37%  HIKE  IN  Q3  INCOME  TO  P1.3 B

MANILA, NOVEMBER 1, 2006
(STAR) The Philippines’ largest lender, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., posted a 37- percent rise in third-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations, as costs fell by nearly a third and offset higher bad debt provisions and a fall in net interest income.

Metrobank is expected to post full-year net income of P5.08 billion as against P4.3 billion in 2005, according to Reuters estimates.

Third quarter net profit of P1.3 billion was fuelled by the drop in costs, which overshadowed a jump in bad debt provisions to P2.46 billion from P956 million a year ago, and a 20-percent fall in net interest income to P3.5 billion.

The bank, which did not provide comparative figures, posted net income of P950 million a year earlier. Metrobank did not say whether its 2005 results had been revised.

Fee income was flat at P2.8 billion.

The results, which do not include figures from Metrobank’s subsidiaries, jar with rival Bank of the Philippine Islands, which posted an 11-percent gain in third-quarter net profit due to strong fee income and lower bad debt provisions.

Metrobank, with total assets of nearly $11.8 billion at end-June, last week listed additional shares from a $132-million global stock offering to beef up its capital base.

The bank is also selling non-performing loans and assets worth a total of about P12.5 billion before the year ends to free up its resources for more lending.

Metrobank property arm mulls IPO By Zinnia B. Dela Peña The Philippine Star 11/02/2006

Federal Land Inc., the real estate unit of the Metrobank Group of Companies, is considering going public within the next two years to raise funds for its projects.

Metrobank president Arthur Ty said while the property company is bent on tapping the equities market; this scheme may take some time considering the long and tedious process of undertaking an initial public offering (IPO).

First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) president Francisco Sebastian said Federal Land is eyeing an IPO either next year or in 2008. FMIC is the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group.

Among Federal Land’s projects include Bayview International Towers and Ocean Tower along Roxas Boulevard; Valencia Hills in San Juan and Quezon City; Oriental Gardens and Skyland Plaza in Makati City.

Federal Land also developed the PSBank Tower and the GT Tower International at the Makati central business district, as well as ongoing property development in the Metropolitan Park along the Manila Bay waterfront.

The company has set aside P5 billion for its capital expenditures in 2007, significantly higher than this year’s P3-billion budget.

The programmed capital budget will be used to partly fund its Fort Bonifacio project, Manila Bay Gardens (a residential condominium located along Roxas Boulevard fronting the Manila Bay), and the continued development of Marquinton or Marikina Town Center, a P5-billion master-planned community in Marikina.

Federal Land also intends to pursue mixed-use commercial and residential projects in Multinational Village, Parañaque City (affordable duplexes and single-detached homes), and in Binan, Laguna (a subdivision and master-planned community).

It also plans to transform its 10.4-hectare property within the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig into a high-end mixed-use township with residential, commercial and retail developments.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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