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RCBC closes sustainability bond offer

DEMAND for Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.’s offer of sustainability bonds reached P17.87 billion. — BW FILE PHOTO

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) has closed its offering of dual-tenor fixed-rate ASEAN sustainability bonds, with the proceeds to be used for general funding purposes and for financing eligible projects under its sustainable finance framework.

Demand for the peso-denominated papers reached P17.87 billion as of Friday, more than 5.9 times as much as RCBC’s initial target issue size of P3 billion, the bank said in a filing with the local bourse on Monday.

The 2.5- and 5.25-year securities will be issued at a fixed rate of 3.2% and 4.18%, respectively.

“Proceeds from the offering will be used to support the bank’s asset growth, refinance maturing liabilities, other general funding purposes as well as eligible loans defined in the bank’s Sustainable Finance Framework,” RCBC said.

The debt papers were offered from March 12 to March 19. They are expected to be listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. on March 31.

The sustainability bonds are part of RCBC’s P100-billion bond and commercial paper program. The papers also marked the bank’s sixth foray into the peso bond market.

Standard Chartered Bank served as the sole lead arranger and bookrunner for the transaction while RCBC Capital Corp. was the financial advisor for the bond issuance. Both parties were selling agents for the papers.

RCBC earlier sold P15 billion in ASEAN green bonds, P8 billion in ASEAN sustainability bonds, and a cumulative P31.15 billion from other bond offerings.

The bank’s net income decreased by 7% to P5 billion in 2020 from P5.388 billion in 2019 due to higher loan loss reserves amid the crisis.

RCBC shares closed at P17.50 apiece on Monday, inching up by 40 centavos or by 2.34% from the previous day. — L.W.T. Noble

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