RCBC lists P15-B ASEAN green bonds


Tenth largest lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) on Friday listed its first ASEAN green bond sale at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation.

The P15 billion bond issuance, part of RCBC’s Green Finance Framework, was thrice oversubscribed from the bank’s initial P5 billion issue size. It has a tenor of 1.5 years to be paid 6.7315 percent per annum.

“RCBC management is extremely pleased with the results of the offering. The RCBC Green Bond is a significant milestone for RCBC,” senior executive vice president and Treasurer Horacio E. Cabrero III was quoted in a filing to the stock exchange.

“Not only is this RCBC’s single largest peso-denominated debt issuance but it also has the distinction of being the first publicly-distributed ASEAN-labeled green bond in the local market.”

The green bond is the first to be listed in the dealing platform after the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission adapted the ASEAN Green Bond Standards 2018 in August last year.

RCBC will be using the net proceeds to finance loans for the customers as well as its own projects under the Green Eligible Categories: renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, energy efficiency and pollution prevention and control.

The bank mandated HSBC and ING Bank Manila branch to arrange the issuance, while the latter also serves as the sole green structuring advisor RCBC’s green finance framework.
In a parallel event, RCBC also on Friday dismissed the reported filing of a case against it in New York by the Bank of Bangladesh as a mere stunt.

Its lawyer, Tai-Heng Cheng, who acknowledged the lender has not yet been formally notified of the complaint, said the complaint was a mere publicity campaign “disguised as a lawsuit.”

“If the Bank of Bangladesh was serious about recovering the money, they would have pursued their claims three years ago and not wait until days before the statute of limitations.

“Not only are the allegations false, they don’t have the right to file here since none of the defendants are in the US.

“We will show that this suit is nothing more than a political stunt by the Bangladesh Bank to try to shift blame from themselves to RCBC,” the lawyer said in a statement.

“A review of the facts shows that Bangladesh Bank’s errors, omissions, and lapses in security protocols are the cause of its loss. We believe it is telling that they have concealed information from their own investigation and despite admitting their own culpability, continue to try to blame others. RCBC had nothing to do with the theft of the funds and has cooperated fully with every investigation into the matter. This suit is nothing more than a blatant attempt by Bangladesh Bank to shift blame and cover up their own liability,” he said.

The complaint has to do with the loss of $81 million that fraudsters at the Bank of Bangladesh caused the Federal Bank New York to transfer the money to accounts at RCBC in Manila.

Much of that money would be lost in the maze of accounts owned by gambling personalities in the local casino industry.

Of the $81 million that had been wired to RCBC before the fraud was stopped, only $15 million was eventually returned.

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