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Participants to the joint venture signing event.
Participants to the joint venture signing event.

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) signed a joint venture agreement with the Marist Brothers Congregation Philippines, Inc. and First Metro Investment Corporation to establish First Metro Asset Management, Inc. (FAMI), as asset management company set up to manage the “Save & Learn Fixed Income Fund” and “Save & Learn Equity Fund”.

The “Save & Learn Fixed Income Fund” and “Save & Learn Equity Fund” are mutual funds that target investors in the education sector, specifically the institutions as well as the constituents under the CEAP umbrella. CEAP is a national association of around 1,200 Catholic schools, colleges and universities of the Philippines. Marist Development Foundation on the other hand is an international Catholic religious congregation with around 5,000 members in more than 70 countries.

First Metro Investment is the investment banking arm of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank), the largest universal bank in the country. It currently supervises the Metro Capital Fund, a common trust fund that has been leading all other equity funds on its year-to-date and 12-month performance.

First Metro Investment was recently awarded by Finance Asia as the Best Investment Bank and Best Bond House in the country, having played a major role in eight of the nine fixed income deals executed in the Philippines from July 2004 to June 2005. Some of these deals were Ayala Corporation’s P7 Billion Retail Corporate Bonds, Unilever’s 3 Billion Floating Rate Notes, the P41 Billion Retail Treasury Bonds and Pag-IBIG Fund’s P7 Billion Housing Bonds, among others.

First Metro Investment President Mr. Francisco C. Sebastian said that the name “Save & Learn” demonstrates the alignment of vision by the joint venture partners. It is further envisioned that First Metro Investment and its partners will collaborate to offer financial literacy programs to CEAP’s constituents to promote the values and skills in savings and money management among students, teachers, parents and administrators of CEAP member institutions.

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