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ASA Philippines Foundation, Inc. raises PHP5 Billion in the Philippines’ First-Ever Gender Bonds Issuance

ASA Philippines Foundation, Inc. (ASA), the country’s leading microfinance non-government organization, successfully raised PHP5 billion from the issuance of 5-year fixed rate corporate notes. The proceeds of the issue will be used for working capital purposes to expand ASA’s lending business, which wholly targets women as principal borrowers in an effort to empower them and achieve financial inclusion for the vulnerable, indigent female sector.

Due to the intended beneficiaries, the corporate notes issuance was appropriately classified as a Gender Bond, the first of its kind in the country. The classification was certified by social bond second-party opinion provider DNV (made possible through the technical assistance provided by the Asian Development Bank) and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jointly arranged by BDO Capital & Investment Corporation (BDO Capital) and the Investment Banking Group of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), the notes will be issued on July 5. The issuance comes at an opportune time as ASA rebounds from the challenging economic environment over the past three (3) years that affected not only the organization but also the entire world.

“We at BDO Capital and LANDBANK are extremely proud to be a part of this landmark issue that combines excellent corporate credit and a noble social cause,” said Eduardo V. Francisco, President of BDO Capital & Investment Corporation. “ASA’s mission to touch and uplift the indigent female population deeply resonates with us, especially as we fulfill our responsibility to a wide array of stakeholders. We thank ASA for their trust, and we are rooting for them to succeed in their mandate.”

“The issuance demonstrates LANDBANK’s steadfast commitment to advance gender equality and women empowerment. Sustainable growth should be inclusive, especially for underserved women in the country,” according to Carel D. Halog, Executive Vice President of the Treasury and Investment Banking Sector of LANDBANK. “The participation of LANDBANK, BDO Capital, and other partners to this transaction is a testament of our collective confidence in the capabilities of the Filipina to uplift the lives of Filipino families.”

Meanwhile, ASA Philippines President and CEO Kamrul H. Tarafder expressed his profound gratitude towards the institutions that made the issue possible. “We have witnessed firsthand the hard work and dedication of BDO Capital and LANDBANK in seeing this transaction through. On behalf of our borrowers and members, whom we affectionately call Nanays, we thank them profusely for spearheading this transaction.” Mr. Tarafder then added, “We must admit, however, that raising these funds is only the first step, and our work here is not over. We are excited to expand our operations and help as many more Nanays as we can to make us worthy of the ASA brand and the Gender Bond certification granted to us. We started working on lowering our fees substantially to provide maximum benefit to the poor, and we hope that this will set an example not just for the microfinance NGO sector, but also for the private sector in general.”

ASA Philippines Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, nonprofit organization registered with the SEC on July 9, 2004 to provide access to financial and economic facilities, social, and other developmental opportunities to disadvantaged sectors. These include the small, cottage, and microentrepreneurial poor of the community, empowering them through self-employment and economic upliftment. ASA Philippines also conducts microfinance operations pursuant to R.A. 10693 (An Act Strengthening Nongovernment Organizations (NGOs) Engaged in Microfinance Operations for the Poor).



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