Manila Water raises $500M from ‘green’ bonds

Published July 24, 2020, 10:00 PM

by James A. Loyola

Manila Water Company, Inc has successfully priced its $500 million US dollar-denominated Reg-S 10 non-call 5-year Sustainability Notes with a fixed coupon of 4.375 percent and issued at 99.002, payable semi-annually.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said this represents Manila Water’s debut bond issuance in the international capital markets.

The offering is the single largest green, social or sustainability bond issued by a listed private water utility in Asia and the first ASEAN Sustainability Bond by a corporate issuer out of the Philippines.

With orders of nearly US$1.96 billion at its peak, the Notes successfully attracted active subscription from 85 quality institutional investors.

The Notes were priced at 4.50 percent which was 25 basis points tighter than initial price guidance.

In terms of distribution, the order book was allocated predominantly to Asia (79 percent), and the remaining to Europe, Middle East and Africa (21 percent).

“As a member of the Ayala Group of Companies, we are very grateful for the strong market response which reflects the investors’ confidence in Manila Water’s fundamental strength and stability as a leading Asian player in the water and wastewater industry,” said Manila Water President Jose Rene Gregory D. Almendras.

He added that, “The issuance of this Sustainability Bond is fully aligned with our commitment to create shared value towards achieving the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 6 which focuses on clean water and sanitation.”

“The successful Sustainability Bond issuance will support financing of important water and wastewater infrastructure projects in our communities in the East Zone which have been agreed with our regulators and which will provide stable and predictable cashflows,” said MWC Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer Ma. Cecilia T. Cruzabra.

She noted that, “The issuance will also allow us to refinance our maturing obligations, further diversify our funding sources and lengthen our maturity profile.”