Philippines-based Metropolitan Bank & Trust (Metrobank) has secured approval from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to purchase 40% stake in credit card JV Metrobank Card (MCC) from its partner ANZ Funds.

Metrobank intends to initially buy 20% for PHP7.4bn ($148m) through a share purchase agreement, with plans to acquire the remaining 20% in the third quarter of 2018.

According to the bank, the deal will allow recognition of additional earnings and improve operational inefficiencies.

In 2003, Metrobank signed a joint venture agreement with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, under which ANZ Funds obtained 40% stake in MCC’s cards business.

ANZ’s decision to divest from the venture is reported to be in line with its strategy to simplify business and focus on institutional banking.