RIZAL Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) said it priced its first peso “green bond” at 6.7315% per annum, with the proceeds to be used to support projects that are environment-friendly and promote resiliency to climate change.
In a regulatory filing on Friday, the bank said it will offer P15 billion via 1.5-year “green bonds,” which will mature in 1.5 years.
The public offer period will run from Jan. 21-25.
The bonds are expected to be listed at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. on or around Feb. 1.
“The bank is grateful for the overwhelming support from its institutional investors, with the books being more than three times oversubscribed from its announced issue size of P5 billion, allowing an issue size of P15 billion,” RCBC Senior Executive Vice-President and Treasurer Horacio E. Cebrero III was quoted as saying in the statement.
RCBC announced on Monday the establishment of a green finance network which will support future fund-raising activities for environment-related projects.
The funding framework is first in the Philippines to be aligned with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Green Bond Standards 2018 by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum, the bank said.
Mr. Cebrero added that the proceeds from the issue will will be used to support RCBC’s expansion and initiatives in the green space.
In particular, the proceeds will be allocated to fund and refinance loans issued for renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, energy efficiency as well as pollution prevention and control.
RCBC tapped Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. as the arranger of the issue. It will be joined by ING Bank N.V. Manila branch, which will also act as the sole green structuring adviser for RCBC’s green finance framework.
RCBC Chief Executive Officer Gil A. Buenaventura said in an earlier disclosure that the bank affirms its commitment to support environmental sustainability.
Domestic banks have been slowly venturing into the green financing market.
In the previous years, BDO Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp. raised $150 million each by issuing green bonds to sole investor International Finance Corp.
RCBC posted a P3.2-billion net profit in the first nine months of 2018, down 5.9% from a year earlier. The country’s 10th biggest bank operated 509 branches and 1,593 automated teller machines nationwide at the end of September.
RCBC shares were unchanged at P27. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal