Metrobank shares rebound after P14-B loss in market value

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MANILA – Shares of Metrobank, which sought the arrest of a senior official for fraud, rebounded on Monday, after losing as much as P14.6 billion in market value last week.

Metrobank shares were up 1.27 percent to P88 in early trading, recovering nearly P4 billion from Friday, when authorities announced the arrest of one of its officers over alleged bogus loans.

The stock fell 4 percent on Friday, or roughly P14.6 billion off its market value.

Based on stock exchange data, Metrobank’s 3,180,172,786 shares were worth P276.4 billion on Friday, from P291 billion on Thursday. The bank was worth P280.3 billion on Monday at P88 per share.

Maria Victoria Lopez, who was with the bank’s corporate services department, was arrested on July 18 after she allegedly tried to collect P2.25 million in interest from 2 unauthorized loans worth P900 million and P850 million.

The P14-billion loss was not justified since the amount involved was was not even one percent of the bank’s P2 trillion in assets, said Regina Capital managing director Victor Alvin Limlingan.

“Management has to get the right balance between proper controls and giving its people the flexibility they need to respond to market change,” Limlingan told ANC’s Market Edge with Cathy Yang.

The price drop provides investors an opportunity to buy Metrobank shares, he said.

“If you wanna make a quick buy, I think this will be forgotten soon enough as the cycle goes on,” he said.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier on Friday said the incident is an “isolated case” and that the banking system was “well-capitalized.”

“Metrobank is a big bank. It can handle the situation,” Fonacier told reporters.



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