Philippine lender Metrobank gets nod to buy out credit card JV partner ANZ

Metrobank visual from Vista Malls website.

Philippine-listed banking giant Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank) has secured the apex bank approval to complete the acquisition of 20 per cent stake in Metrobank Card Corp (MCC) from its joint venture partner ANZ Funds Pty Ltd. Metrobank will pay P7.4 billion ($148 million) for the stake.

Metrobank made the announcement after it obtained approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank, to proceed with its acquisition of a 40% stake in MCC from ANZ.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Metrobank said it will acquire the first 20% through a share purchase agreement. The sale of the remaining 20% will be completed by the third quarter of this year on the same terms as the first phase.

The 40% acquisition will give Metrobank full ownership of MCC, which is currently one of the leading credit card companies in the Philippines.

It was in 2003, when ANZ, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, ANZ Funds, entered into a joint venture with Metrobank for operations of the card business of MCC. The ownership structure prior to the transaction was 60% for Metrobank and 40% for ANZ.

Metrobank said the deal, which is in line with its capital planning initiatives, will allow the bank to “recognize additional earnings” from the credit card company and improve operational inefficiencies” between Metrobank and MCC.

MCC, established in August 1985 as Unibancard Corporation, is one of the country’s top credit card companies and ranks Number 1 in the Credit Card Association of the Philippines in terms of Cards in Force and Receivables.

It posted total assets of P60.4 billion ($1.2 billion) and a return on average equity of 36.3% in 2016.

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