Philippine's best securities house 2022
First Metro Corporation
With nearly six decades of investment banking experience in the Philippines, First Metro Investment Corporation had clear advantages when dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. It used its in-depth understanding of capital markets to find smart solutions for its clients, making it the winner of Asiamoney’s award for best securities house in the Philippines in 2022.
In the primary markets, First Metro, whose president is Jose Patricio Dumlao, had a banner year. It worked on 22 deals during the awards period, including the Philippines’ largest IPO – Monde Nissan Corp’s P55.9 billion ($1.1 billion) listing. Monde Nissan, a food and beverage company, listed in June 2021, in the middle of the pandemic. Even though the IPO was largely coordinated through virtual meetings, it was more than two times oversubscribed. First Metro was a local lead underwriter and bookrunner.
The investment bank – which is led by Daniel Camacho and is an arm of the Metrobank Group – also played an active role in debt deals. It worked on 10 of the 16 corporate bonds during the awards period including fundraisings for some of the top names – for example, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, which raised P10 billion from fixed rate bonds. Aboitiz Equity is the public holding and management company of conglomerate Aboitiz Group.
First Metro was also one of the issue managers on the Philippine sovereign’s $1.6 billion inaugural retail onshore dollar bonds in October 2021. The deal was a big success, giving retail investors a rare opportunity to buy an investment grade offering from the government.
John Wesley Peralta heads First Metro’s debt capital markets division, while Abigail Buenviaje-Magpayo runs the equity capital markets and corporate finance and advisory divisions.
For the year ending June 30, 2021, First Metro’s total net income was about P129.5 million, rebounding from a net loss of P96 million in the previous 12-month period.
The bank also leverages the platform of First Metro Securities Brokerage Corporation, which offers equity broking services and caters to clients’ stock broking needs to much success.