RCBC issues P8 billion in sustainability bonds

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Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. has issued its sustainability bonds. -- BW FILE PHOTO

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) completed on Tuesday the issuance of P8-billion in sustainability bonds which will fund environmental and social projects.

In a disclosure to the local bourse Tuesday, the Yuchengco-controlled lender said it issued P8 billion in two-year Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Sustainability Bonds, the first of its kind in the Philippines under the ASEAN Sustainability Bond Standards 2018.

The two-year debt papers carry a coupon of 6.15% per annum to be paid quarterly until May 2021.

RCBC saw strong demand from retail investors, prompting it to upsize the issuance from the P5 billion it initially intended to offer.

The sustainability bonds were listed at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. on June 4.

“We are encouraged to see the market’s continuing support of our efforts to demonstrate our commitment to promote sustainable practices that will not only minimize adverse environmental and social impact on the bank’s activities and operations but also make RCBC well-positioned to participate and finance out client’s own transition to more sustainable operations,” RCBC Senior Executive Vice President and Treasurer Horacio E. Cebrero III was quoted as saying in the statement.

In a previous statement, Mr. Cebrero said proceeds of the fundraising activity will be used “towards strengthening RCBC’s commitment to the sustainable initiatives of its customers.”

In particular, the bank will use the bonds’ proceeds to fund the following projects: renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control, sustainable water management, environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use, affordable basic infrastructure, access to essential services, employment generation, affordable housing and socioeconomic advancement and empowerment.

The issued bonds allow investors to channel their funds towards projects with positive environmental and social impacts, RCBC previously said.

Earlier last month, RCBC established its Sustainable Finance Network, which serves as a framework for sustainable financing instruments to fund loans and projects that have environmental and social benefits.

The bank mandated ING Bank N.V.-Manila branch as the sole arranger for the issuance and sustainable structuring adviser for its sustainable finance framework.

In January, RCBC raised P15 billion worth of 1.5-year green bonds under its green finance framework. Proceeds of this issuance will be used to support RCBC’s expansion and initiatives in the green space.

RCBC posted a P1.3-billion net income in the first quarter, up 15% from P1.1 billion booked in the same period in 2018.

Shares in RCBC closed at P26.75 apiece on Tuesday, up five centavos or 0.19%. — KANV