• Manila-based firm receives award in Tokyo

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    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CNBC on Thursday said they have given the Best Project For Corporate Finance Transaction award to a Philippine-based company, AP Renewables Inc. (APRI), for its innovative and impactful solutions to key development challenges.

    In March 2016, APRI issued a local currency bond equivalent to $225 million to refinance sponsor equity in Tiwi and MakBan.

    ADB said it provided a partial credit enhancement for the bond as well as a direct loan of $37.7 million.

    The bond issuance was the first Climate Bond—certified by the Climate Bond Initiative—in Asia and the Pacific and the first ever Climate Bond for a single project in an emerging market.

    “The project reflects APRI’s commitment to renewable energy in the region,” ADB said in a statement posted on its website.

    The project also received the 2016 Bond Deal of the Year by the Project Finance International magazine of Thomson Reuters, Asia Pacific Bond Deal of the Year from IJGlobal and the Best Renewable Deal of the Year by Alpha Southeast Asia.

    ADB’s credit enhancement was risk-participated by the Credit Guarantee Investment Facility (CGIF), a multilateral facility established by Asean + 3 governments and ADB to develop bond markets in the region.

    APRI is a subsidiary of AboitizPower, one of Philippines’ biggest geothermal energy producers, which owns and operates the Tiwi and Makiling Banahaw (MakBan) geothermal facilities, the seventh and fourth largest geothermal power stations in the world, respectively.

    Also awarded was India-based Janalakshmi Financial Services, for working to increase access to finance and improve financial services to the underserved urban poor in India.

    ADB said it signed and disbursed $150 million-rupee equivalent in debt to Janalakshmi Financial Services in December 2016 to help the urban-focused microfinance institution transition to a small finance bank, Jana Small Finance Bank.

    Janalakshmi is expanding its microfinance activities and adding financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as other financial products, to address a wider spectrum of underserved people, and developing sanitation loans to complement India’s sanitation initiatives in combination with a technical assistance grant from ADB.

    “The awards exemplify the ever-growing importance of the private sector in implementing development work in the region,” ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Director General Michael Barrow said.

    “Our partners in the private sector provide unique solutions to development challenges — from financing to technical expertise — and today’s winners are perfect examples of that,” he added.

    The awarding ceremony took place in Yokohama, Japan during an event co-hosted by CNBC and ADB at the 50th Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors.

    The awards focus on highly developmental transactions and underline the important work ADB clients undertake in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.

    ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.

    Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in co-financing.

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