Monday, 16 November 2009

First Metro 9-month profit soars 164%

Erik de la Cruz
Business Mirror

FIRST Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) posted a 164-percent increase in January-September net income to P824.2 million from the same period last year, as investment banking fees and trading gains from stocks and fixed-income securities swelled.

The listed company’s top-line figure grew 42 percent to P3.2 billion.

Net income in the third quarter rose 58 percent to P267.4 million.

Taking lead roles in several major corporate debt transactions this year, FMIC collected a record P292.1 million in investment banking fees, representing a 120-percent growth over P132.9 million in the same nine-month period last year.

FMIC, the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, helped raised funds for several big local companies this year. Among the deals it handled were:

· San Miguel Brewery Inc.’s P38.8-billion bonds—the biggest-ever local corporate bond deal—as a lead underwriter;

· Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.’s P10-billion and P500-million notes as lead arranger;

· Metrobank Card Corp.’s P1.3-billion notes as issue manager and lead arranger;

· Globe Telecom Inc.’s P5-billion bonds as a lead underwriter and P5-billion notes as sole arranger;

· Aboitiz Power Corp.’s P3-billion bonds as a lead underwriter and P6.5-billion notes and bonds as an issue manager;

· Cebu Energy Development Corp.’s P16-billion borrowing as arranger;

· Global Business Holdings Inc.’s P2-billion term loan as lead arranger; and

· Metro Pacific Investment Corp.’s P4.5-billion bridge loan facility.

FMIC was also one of the selling agents and issue managers of the Bureau of Treasury’s retail Treasury bonds offer in September, which raised P114 billion for the government.

Reversing last year’s losses from stock trading, FMIC posted an income of P187.6 million from investment in stocks. It also booked P39.4 million in dividend income from investment in Stradcom International.

Treasury income contributed P1.91 billion to total revenue, up 13 percent over the same nine-month period last year. Trading gains from the sale of government securities reached P319.5 million.

The higher average volume of securities portfolio handled in the three quarters of the year—P29.7 billion as against the P18.1 billion in the same period last year—was key to the P633.3-million, or 66-percent, increase in interest income.

Total resources grew 32 percent to P60.8 billion as of end-September from the end-2008 balance of P46.2 billion.

Francisco Sebastian, FMIC president, painted a guarded outlook on the economy in the last quarter and moving into 2010.

“We can now all sigh in relief as fundamentally there has been a confirmed recovery, although this has been for the most part restricted to Asia and the emerging economies,” he said in a statement.

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