IFC sets investment anchor to Ayala Energy’s offshore reg’l expansion

By Myrna M. Velasco – February 12, 2019, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

Multilateral lending agency International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank group has provided investment anchor to the wide-ranging offshore regional expansion that the Ayala Energy investment unit has cast on blueprint.

IFC pitched in US$75 million, in the US$300 million five-year green bond offering that AC Energy of the Ayala group has just concretized recently in Singapore. IFC’s cash infusion will primarily underpin AC Energy’s Vietnam portfolio.

“The investment will support AC Energy’s strategy to transform the company into a regional player focused on renewable energy, beyond its home market in the Philippines,” the multilateral lending firm has emphasized.

In particular, the IFC indicated that it is supporting the investment shoring up of Ayala group for RE capacities in Vietnam.

“This builds on IFC’s investment in the power sector in Vietnam, particularly in its equity stake in Gia Lai Electricity Joint Stock Company,” the lending firm said.

By far, Gia Lai is the developer of the first operational utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Vietnam.

IFC sounded off strong belief in the capability of the Ayala group to bring to fruition its capacity target of 5,000 megawatts (5.0 gigawatts) within its set development stretch winding up in year 2025.

In the recent green bonds issue, the bank expounded that this “will be used to finance the company’s plans for up to 5GW of renewable energy projects in East Asia and Pacific in 2025,” reiterating that IFC’s subscription shall be “dedicated to selected solar PV and wind projects in Vietnam.”

The IFC’s participation in the green bonds float of the Ayala group is just part of the continuing and more extensive business relationship that the parties have had nurtured over the years.

As noted by IFC Director for East Asia and the Pacific Vivek Pathak, “AC Energy’s parent company — Ayala Corporation, is a strategic client of IFC in Asia and a regional and global leader in the corporate pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” – with the Ayala firm being a founding member of the UN Global Compact Network in the Philippines.

On IFC’s part, Pathak noted that the green bonds issue somehow leveraged on the bank’s global experience on that sphere, and “demonstrates the tremendous potential of the green bond asset as a tool for mobilizing international institutional capital into infrastructure assets.”

From that successful offering then, the IFC executive enthused that the target is to expand “issuances across Asia,” as well as advance “the integration of regional power and financial markets.”