RCBC cre­ates green finance frame­work

Business World - - Banking & Finance - Karl An­gelo N. Vi­dal

RIZAL COM­MER­CIAL Bank­ing Corp. (RCBC) has es­tab­lished a green finance frame­work to serve as a ba­sis for fu­ture fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to sup­port do­mes­tic en­vi­ron­men­tal and cli­mate projects.

In a dis­clo­sure to the lo­cal bourse on Mon­day, the Yuchengco-led lender said it es­tab­lished its green finance frame­work, which will be the ba­sis for any is­suance of green bonds or loans de­nom­i­nated in Philip­pine peso or any other cur­rency.

RCBC’s green fund­ing frame­work is the 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.

The frame­work was also aligned with the Green Bond Frame­work 2018 of the In­ter­na­tional Cap­i­tal Mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion, as well as the Green Loan Prin­ci­ples 2018 of the Loan Mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion and Asia Pa­cific Loan Mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Pro­ceeds from any green fi­nanc­ing un­der the frame­work will be used to finance or re­fi­nance a port­fo­lio of green el­i­gi­ble projects re­lat­ing to re­new­able en­ergy, green build­ings, clean trans­porta­tion, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion and con­trol that con­trib­utes to the re­duc­tion of the en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print in the Philip­pines,” RCBC told the lo­cal stock ex­change.

RCBC Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Gil A. Bue­naven­tura said the bank sees the value of de­vel­op­ing greater en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity through its op­er­a­tions and busi­nesses it serves.

“The bank be­lieves that bal­anc­ing non-fi­nan­cial fac­tors such as en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial is­sues with fi­nan­cial pri­or­i­ties is es­sen­tial to good cor­po­rate cit­i­zen­ship and is fun­da­men­tal to risk man­age­ment and the pro­tec­tion of its in­vestors and share­hold­ers.”

Lo­cal lenders have been slowly ven­tur­ing into the green fi­nanc­ing mar­ket.

In the pre­vi­ous years, Sy-led lenders BDO Uni­bank, Inc. and China Bank­ing Corp. raised $150 mil­lion each worth of green bonds to sole in­vestor In­ter­na­tional Finance Corp.

Bank of the Philip­pine Is­lands, on the other hand, has said it is look­ing at re­turn­ing to the off­shore bond mar­ket this year, as it is “con­tem­plat­ing” on is­su­ing green bonds.

RCBC has man­dated ING Bank N.V. as the sole green struc­tur­ing ad­viser for its green finance frame­work. ING Bank Coun­try Man­ager Hans B. Si­cat said the Dutch fi­nan­cial gi­ant is hon­ored to sup­port the Yuchengco-led bank in pur­su­ing its sus­tain­abil­ity goals.

“By hav­ing a green finance frame­work, RCBC is now able to in­te­grate its sus­tain­abil­ity am­bi­tions into its busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties and ac­cess green fi­nanc­ing,” Mr. Si­cat said.

Sus­tain­a­lyt­ics, a global provider of en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and gov­er­nance re­search and rat­ings, said the bank’s green fund­ing frame­work is “cred­i­ble, ro­bust and trans­par­ent,” and that it sup­ports three of the United Na­tions’ Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals.

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 runs 509 branches and 1,593 au­to­mated teller ma­chines na­tion­wide as of endSeptem­ber.

Shares in RCBC stood at P27.15 apiece on Mon­day, up 75 cen­tavos or 2.84% from the pre­vi­ous ses­sion.

BW FILE PHOTO

RIZAL Com­mer­cial Bank­ing Corp. set up a green finance frame­work for fu­ture fund-rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

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