Aboitiz Equity to issue retail bonds within 1st half

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ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) plans to issue up to P5 billion worth of fixed retail bonds within the first half of the year.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, the listed conglomerate said its board of directors has approved the issuance of P3 billion in retail bonds or Series A bonds, with an oversubscription option of up to P2 billion.

This represents the first tranche of AEV’s P30-billion bond issuance in its debt securities program.

“Depending on market conditions, the Series A bonds are expected to be offered to the general public during the first half of 2019,” the company said. The bonds will then be listed at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

AEV engaged BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. to act as the offering’s joint issue managers, joint bookrunners, and joint lead underwriters.

The company plans to spend about P50 to 60 billion in capital expenditures this year, the bulk of which will finance its projects in the power sector.

AEV is currently constructing a bulk water project in Davao City called Apo Agua worth between P13 to 14 billion. The facility is scheduled to start operations in 2021, and will have the capacity to process 347 million liters of water per day. It also comes with a 2.5-megawatt hydro-electric power plant.

AboitizPower is also exploring more renewable energy projects both locally and overseas, with potential projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Myanmar.

AEV Chief Executive Officer Erramon I. Aboitiz earlier said they will have to look for more growth opportunities abroad since they are growing faster than the Philippine economy, as well as in industries where they are present.

In a separate disclosure, the company declared cash dividends of P1.32 per share for shareholders of record as of March 21. The dividends will be paid out on April 5, taken from its unrestricted retained earnings by end-2018.

The company booked a nine percent profit increase to P17.32 billion in the first nine months of 2018, following a 21% rise in gross revenues to P135.25 billion.

Shares in AEV gained 0.09% or five centavos to close at P58.65 each at the stock exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia