ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) has received the top credit rating by a local debt watcher for its proposed P10-billion fixed-rate retail bonds.

In a disclosure to the exchange on Thursday, the conglomerate said its planned bond issuance had been given a PRS Aaa credit rating by Philippine Rating Services Corp. (PhilRatings).

The company announced last week that it applied to issue bonds at an aggregate amount of P5 billion, with an oversubscription option of up to P5 billion. These bonds represent the second tranche of AEV’s P30-billion bond program.

On Thursday, AEV said that the proposal was given a PRS Aaa credit rating by PhilRatings, which means the bonds are of highest quality and have minimal credit risk. It also means the company has an “extremely strong” capacity to meet its financial obligation.

The credit rating was given a stable outlook by PhilRatings, meaning it is expected to last for the next 12 months.

AEV is eyeing to do the bond offering within the fourth quarter of 2020. The bonds will be listed at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

The company selected BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. to be joint issue managers, and with BPI Capital Corp., China Bank Capital Corp. and SB Capital Investment Corp., to be joint lead underwriters for the offering. BDO Unibank, Inc. – Trust and Investments Group was tapped to be the trustee.

Earnings of AEV in the six months to June stood at P4 billion, down 55% from a year ago, due to a 57% income drop in its power business to P2.9 billion.

AEV shares at the stock exchange grew P2 or 4.35% to P48 apiece on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez