Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) plans to open a minimum of 30 branches in each of the next three years to take advantage of the good economic prospects of the Philippines, a senior official on the bank said on Wednesday.
“We are looking to open at least 30 branches each year for the next three years. The plan is to open predominantly in Metro Manila and the Luzon areas,” said Jette C. Gamboa, Metrobank senior vice president and head of strategic planning.
She told reporters after the listing of the bank’s P32-billion stock offering the expansion will be mainly in Metro Manila and various areas in Luzon.
“We are prepared to take advantage of the growth of the economy. Economic growth in the Philippines is quite stable … we’re going to expand both the branch network as well as our sales force to deliver the growth that we expect in the next three years,” she said.
Metrobank has a wide presence in Visayas and Mindanao. The Luzon expansion is in line with its objective to widen its reach across the country.
Metrobank is the banking arm of conglomerate GT Capital Holdings Inc of businessman George Ty. Its P32 billion stock offering involved 435.37 million shares at P73.50 per share.
Gamboa said loan growth is seen to growing 18 percent to 20 percent this year on the back of “very solid” recurring business, and the lending segment will consist of a 40 percent share from auto finance, 40 percent for home mortgages and the rest—20 percent—for credit cards.
She said the bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) is seen exceeding 19 percent this year, which is “almost double” the Basel 3 capital requirement that is set at 10 percent.
Ferdinand Antonio A. Tansingco, senior vice president and head of financial markets sector and treasury group, said the bank will use the P32 billion fund to make business grow across all banking segments.
“Our main thrust is really to improve our assets in line with the growth of the Philippine economy. We’re very optimistic. There are a lot of business opportunities on the consumer side, wholesale side, project finance and general expansion of the economy,” Tansingco said.
Asked if bank will match its competitors in making deals and acquisitions, Tansingco said:
“The capital was raised to grow organically. We are not in any talks or consideration of any M&A (mergers and acquisitions) right now.”
The bank booked P20.1-billion net income in 2014, lower from 2013’s P22.5 billion as a result of industry-wide lack of trading gains during the period.
Aside from banking, GT Capital has interests in the automotive sector (Toyota Motor Philippines, Toyota Manila Bay Corp. and Toyota Cubao Inc.), automotive leasing and financing (Toyota Financial Services Philippines Corp.), real estate (Federal Land Inc.), power (Global Business Power Corp.), insurance (Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp.), and non-life insurance (Charter Ping An Insurance Corp.).