IFC investing $100m in Ayala-backed healthcare-focused social bond

Manila, Philippines. Photo: David Milmont/unsplash

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is considering a $100-million investment in a 10-year healthcare-focused social bond to be issued by AYF Finance, a foreign subsidiary of Philippine-listed conglomerate Ayala Corporation.

The “Social Bond”, which will be guaranteed by Ayala Corporation, will support the group’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Ayala Healthcare Holdings, in refinancing the development of a cancer hospital, the expansion of its network of primary care and multi-specialty clinics, among others.

It will be the first-ever social bond to be issued in the healthcare sector in the Philippines. It is being issued under the new Ayala Health Social Bond Framework, which was developed with support from IFC.

“The pandemic exposed the massive underinvestment in the country’s healthcare system, reinforcing our thesis for entering the sector six years ago,” said Fernando Zobel De Ayala, President and CEO of Ayala.

The Social Bond supports the group’s priority to scale up AC Health as a new growth platform, underpinned by its commitment to uplift the quality and access to preventive care in the country, Zobel De Ayala added.

The bond’s focus on the development of a new cancer hospital is timely as cancer is the third-leading cause of death in the Philippines.

Addressing health gaps in the Philippines is a critical challenge that has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rana Karadsheh Haddad, Segional Industry Director, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, Asia and the Pacific at IFC.

“Our investment in this social bond from our long-standing client, the Ayala Group, will help strengthen the Philippines’ healthcare system at a crucial time while also helping to develop the market for social bonds, which is becoming an important tool for helping the private sector to manage the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic and build resilience against future shocks,” he stressed.

IFC has been actively investing in the bond market in the Philippines. It subscribed to the first two local issuances of green bonds, creating a new asset class that is now being adopted by companies across sectors.

It was the sole investor in BDO Unibank’s green bond in 2017, marking its first green bond investment in a financial institution in the East Asia Pacific region.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.