By Myrna M. Velasco
The energy investment arm of the Ayala group will be issuing US$225-million green bonds, the proceeds of which will be funneled to its blueprinted investments in the Asian region.
The issue, according to the company, shall be done via AC Energy International Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of AC Energy of the Ayala conglomerate.
The terms set for the bond float had been for a five-year tenor and a coupon of 4.75 percent per annum, priced at 99.451.
Touting the initial success of the green bonds issuance, AC Energy Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said “this will enable us to scale up renewable energy investments in the region.”
The company has tapped HSBC as sole global coordinator; while Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) acted as sole green structuring agent. Joint bookrunners and joint lead managers had also been BofAML, CLSA and HSBC, along with Philippine banks BDO Capital, BPI Capital Corp. and China Bank Capital as domestic managers.
The offshore energy investment domains already penetrated by the Ayala group had been Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia and there’s a target for another country – addition this year.
It has been emphasized that AC Energy’s issuance will be the first publicly syndicated climate bonds initiative (CBI)-certified US dollar-denominated green bonds in Southeast Asia.
Drawdown from the bond issuance is targeted from the recently established US$1.0-billion medium-term note program. This particular fund-raising activity will also be listed at the Singapore Exchange Limited-Securities Trading (SGX-ST).
“The bonds have received pre-issuance certification as climate bonds under the Climate Bonds Standard (CBS),” the Ayala firm said; emphasizing that such had been approved January 14 this year.
As explained, the CBS certification sets out assurance “that proceeds from any issuance of bonds will be used to finance projects and assets that are consistent with delivering a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.”
Cora Dizon, chief finance officer of AC Energy, has indicated the strong interest on the company’s bond issue even “within the current volatile environment,” adding that “this reflects confidence in AC Energy’s capability to execute its plans and meet investor expectations.”
It has been emphasized that the green bonds of AC Energy cast “well-defined guidelines for use of proceeds for renewable energy projects,” coming along with comprehensive monitoring and reporting commitments.