MANILA, Philippines–Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. has teamed up with the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation to boost Japanese small and medium enterprises that are entering or expanding in the Philippine market.
In a press statement on Wednesday, Metrobank announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with JBIC for the development and the strengthening of a framework to support Japanese mid-tier enterprises as well as small and medium enterprises through Japanese regional financial institutions.
Under the terms of the MOU, JBIC will conduct continuous consultations with Metrobank, primarily through its Japan desk, to support business expansion in the Philippines of SMEs with which Japanese regional financial institutions have business relations. JBIC will then work with Metrobank and financial institutions in Japan to provide financial and non-financial support to the latter’s clients as they enter or expand in the Philippine market.
“This MOU represents a clear commitment for Metrobank to explore cooperation with JBIC to fund and develop entrepreneurial ventures by Japanese firms in the Philippines. We believe that this collaboration will spur mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation that will redound to job and wealth generation for thousands of Filipinos and sustainable growth for Japanese entrepreneurs,” said Vicente Cuna Jr., senior executive vice president and head of the institutional banking sector of Metrobank.
JBIC is a policy-based development financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese government. It was mandated by the Japanese government to work with the Regional Banks Association of Japan and Japanese SMEs and strengthen partnerships with foreign financial institutions while identifying the needs of SMEs for expanding overseas business operations, particularly in Asia.
Aside from its tie-up with Metrobank in the Philippines, JBIC has signed MOUs for similar arrangements in Thailand, Indonesia and India.
As of end-December, Metrobank had total assets of P1.04 trillion, with total loans extended reaching P509 billion.
Metrobank is the first Philippine bank to be granted a banking license by the Japanese Ministry of Finance, opening branches in Tokyo and Osaka in 1996 and 1998, respectively.