BDO green bond is PH’s largest corporate issue
The country’s largest lender, BDO Unibank, has raised P52.7 billion from its landmark green bond offering debut— by far the largest private sector debt securities issuance in the Philippines to date.
The offering of green bonds, with a tenor of two years and a fixed rate of 2.9 percent per annum, was oversubscribed by more than 10 times the original offer of P5 billion on the back of strong demand from retail and institutional investors, prompting the bank to cut short the offering period.
BDO closed the retail bond offering on Jan. 19 instead of the Jan. 21 original schedule.
This was seen as a new milestone for BDO as it exceeded the bank’s previous record bond issuance of P40.1 billion. It was also the largest bond issuance undertaken by any Philippine financial institution or company.
These bonds—BDO’s third issuance under its P365-billion bond program—qualify for the Asean sustainability bond framework. Under this green bond scheme, proceeds will be exclusively applied to finance or refinance a combination of both green and social projects that respectively offer environmental and social benefits. It is understood that certain green projects may also have social co-benefits, and that certain social projects may have environmental co-benefits.
Standard Chartered Bank was the sole arranger, while BDO, BDO Private Bank and Standard Chartered Bank were the selling agents. BDO Capital & Investment Corp. acted as financial advisor.
“We were very happy with demand from investors for our latest bond. It shows they believe in BDO and our efforts to promote the UN sustainable development goals,” BDO Capital president Eduardo Francisco said in a text message.
“We also proud that this is the largest private sector bond issue to date and helps develop the Philippine capital market more,” he added.
Francisco said subscribes were mostly retail investors but there were institutional investors as well.
This marked BDO’s first issuance of peso-denominated sustainability bonds. The issue, settlement, and listing date is set for Jan. 28.
Net proceeds are also intended to diversify the bank’s funding sources, while funding eligible assets.
BDO’s sustainable finance framework defines eligibility criteria in six green areas and two social areas. The green eligible categories are: renewable energy; green buildings; clean transportation; resource efficiency and pollution prevention and control; environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use; and, sustainable water and wastewater management
The eligible categories under the social areas are employment generation and food security.
Sustainalytics, an independent environment, social and governance research firm, reviewed BDO’s sustainable finance framework.
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