Expanding ICTSI borrows $750M from Metrobank


MANILA  -International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) secured its biggest loan facility yet from Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank)—ahead of a potential interest rate hike before the year ends—to refinance short-term obligations and fund global expansion.

On Thursday, the global port operator disclosed it was granted a $750-million borrowing with a tenor of six years, which is also the largest bilateral facility extended by the Ty-led bank.

“Our long-standing relationship with Metrobank enables us to carry out our objective of continuously making our terminals around the world more globally competitive, more efficient, and more accessible. At the same time, this relationship enables us to act more proactively on M&A (merger and acquisitions) opportunities of all sizes,” ICTSI executive vice president Christian Gonzalez said.

ICTSI announced in July it was chosen as the preferred bidder by Transnet SOC Ltd.—a South African government state-owned company—to operate and develop Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 at the Port of Durban under a 25-year contract.

DCT Pier 2 is the biggest container terminal of Transnet. It handles 72 percent of the Port of Durban’s throughput and 46 percent of South Africa’s port traffic.

This year, the Razon-led company has allotted $400 million in capital expenditures to support terminal upgrades.

It spent $152.23 million during the first half for expansion plans and equipment purchase in ports in Mexico, Australia, Congo and Manila.

ICTSI also recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Manila International Container Terminal’s eighth berth.

“We are happy to be able to support ICTSI’s global initiatives and we are proud to play a role in its success,” said Metrobank institutional banking sector head Mylene Caparas.

Metrobank extended the loan facility before the possible 0.25-percentage point hike in interest rates before the year ends as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas remains “cautious,” according to a projection by Bank of America. Key policy rate currently stands at 6.25 percent.

In 2019, subsidiary ICTSI Global Finance BV secured a seven-year loan amounting to $300 million from the listed bank for capital expenditures and other matters.

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