• ADB ramps up private sector financing for PH

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    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) significantly increased its private sector financing for the Philippines last year under a policy aimed at promoting growth and addressing poverty in the region.

    Data from Manila-based lender showed its private sector financing for the Philippines hitting $250 million in 2015, a 233-percent surge from the $75 million approved in 2014.

    For the region, the ADB recorded $2.6 billion worth of private sector financing and investments last year, up by 37 percent from 2014 and boosting its portfolio to over $8 billion—targeted to double by 2020.

    “ADB believes that the private sector is a key engine of growth in developing Asia and a critical partner in alleviating poverty. As a result, we are substantially expanding our private sector financing and investment operations to meet the rapidly changing needs of this dynamic region,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in a statement on Monday.

    “By promoting an improved business climate, with enhanced access to more flexible financing solutions and trade facilitation tools, ADB is helping the private sector create high quality jobs and increase living standards across Asia and the Pacific,” he added.

    In addition to the provision of its own capital, the ADB said it was seeking to catalyze the flow of third-party commercial financing through a variety of co-financing and risk mitigation products.

    Private sector co-financing was over $4.5 billion last year, representing over 40 percent of total ADB co-financing volume in 2015.

    The ADB also continued to ramp up efforts to create more commercially-viable public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the region, highlighted by its service as transaction advisor for the Philippines’ $3.8-billion North South Railway and commuter rail line project.

    Alongside growth in overall volume, the ADB said its private sector operations also reached record levels in strategic priority sectors last year, including climate change, frontier economies, gender equality and inclusive business.

    The lender said over 30 percent of its 2015 private sector transactions were focused on climate change and renewable energy, including the first “green bond” in the region for a geothermal operator in the Philippines.

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