RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) will start the offer period for its sustainable bonds late this month, with proceeds to be used to refinance its debt and beef up its assets.

The 2.25-year fixed-rate papers will be sold from Jan. 31 to Feb. 11, the bank said in a statement. RCBC has the authority to shorten or extend the offer period.

The bank is eyeing to raise at least P3 billion from the issuance, with an option to upsize.

“The funds to be raised from the offer will be used to support asset growth, refinance maturing liabilities and other general funding purposes in line with the bank’s Sustainable Finance Framework,” RCBC said.

The papers will be the seventh tranche of RCBC’s P100-billion bond and commercial paper program.

The sole lead arranger and bookrunner for the transaction is The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., while RCBC Capital Corp. is the financial advisor. Both HSBC and RCBC will be selling agents for the bonds.

“This fundraising exercise encourages both borrowers and lenders to join the push of the country and the global community towards making the world that we live in greener and sustainable,” the bank said.

RCBC said the papers are compliant with the ASEAN Sustainability Bond Standards, subject to confirmation from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The bank’s sustainable finance framework has been certified by Sustainalytics, an independent environmental, social, and governance research and ratings provider.

In March 2021, RCBC raised P17.87 billion through its ASEAN sustainability peso bonds with tenors of 2.5 and 5.2 years.

The bank has raised an aggregate of P72.04 billion through its bond offerings since 2019.

The Yuchengco-led lender’s net income surged  by 125% year on year to P2.01 billion in the third quarter of 2021.

RCBC shares went up by 40 centavos or 2% to close at P20.40 apiece on Tuesday. — L.W.T. Noble