The Philippines is a regional leader in sustainable finance, according to a report by the international nonprofit Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) in 2020. Through several well-received debt capital market issuances, Ayala’s energy group : ACEN and AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp. (ACEIC) have both contributed to the country’s sustainable financing achievements. ACEIC retains its place as one of the Philippines’ largest issuers of green bonds, with four tranches of outstanding green bonds, ranging from US$75 million to as large as US$400 million.
In 2019, ACEIC made its debut in the debt capital markets and raised US$410 million in Green Bonds, the first publicly syndicated US dollar Green Bonds in Southeast Asia which were CBI-certified, a sign of best practice in the market in terms of ESG commitment. The International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank are anchor investors. The issuance has since been increased to US$470 million.
At the latter part of the year, ACEIC had another offering – the world’s first US dollar-denominated perpetual fixed-for-life green notes at an aggregate principal amount of US$400 million certified under the ASEAN Green Bonds Standard and successfully listed in the Singapore Exchange. Currently, US$213 million of the bonds remain outstanding.
In November 2020, ACEIC successfully issued US dollar-denominated senior perpetual fixed-for-life (non-deferrable) green bonds at an aggregate principal amount of US$300 million as part of a liability management deal. This represents the first Philippine fixed-for-life perpetual bond offering since November 2019 and the first public green bond out of the Philippines in 2020.
As of end 2020, 70% of the green bonds have been deployed to the company’s various renewable energy projects. In the Philippines, the bonds have funded two greenfield solar projects in Alaminos Solar in Laguna and Palauig Solar in Zambales.
Most recently, in September 2021, ACEN, through its subsidiary, ACEN Finance Limited, issued its maiden green bond: senior guaranteed undated, fixed-for-life notes worth US$400 million. As a result, the fresh capital ACEN was able to raise in 2021 alone reached close to US$1 billion, which includes close to US$600 million from its stock rights offering, follow-on offering, and an investment from GIC’s Arran earlier that year.
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