Philippines' best corporate and investment bank 2019: First Metro Investment Corporation
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Philippines' best corporate and investment bank 2019: First Metro Investment Corporation

First Metro Investment Corporation

Rabboni Francis B Arjonillo, President, First Metro Investment Corporation.jpg
Rabboni Francis Arjonillo, First Metro Investment Corporation

The Philippine capital markets had a tough year in 2018. Several issuers waited for market sentiment to improve, while a handful of planned fund-raisings were pulled. Against this lacklustre backdrop, First Metro Investment Corporation, the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, won plaudits for its innovation and timely execution, fending off rivals BDO Capital & Investment Corporation and BPI Capital.

A couple of landmark deals highlighted its capabilities. First Metro was the sole arranger for the P1 billion ($19 million) fixed-rate corporate notes for Aeon Credit Service (Philippines), a subsidiary of Japan-based retail firm Aeon Group of Companies, in September 2018.

The transaction was ground-breaking on several fronts. It was the first issuance under the Asean+3 multi-currency bond issuance framework (Ambif) in the Philippines and the first fully guaranteed debt facility of the Credit Guarantee & Investment Facility (CGIF) in the country.

A total of seven noteholders participated in the transaction, which was more than three times oversubscribed.

First Metro, under president Rabboni Francis Arjonillo, was also the sole issue manager, bookrunner and lead underwriter for the P8 billion Philippine Savings Bank stock rights offering. This was the only purely domestic equity transaction for the awards period. The offer was done in three months, from announcement to listing, making it one of the fastest equity capital raisings completed via public offer.

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