Public sustainability-linked bond by Surbana Jurong more than 6 times oversubscribed

Surbana Jurong also aims to reduce net emissions at its headquarters at SJ Campus in Jurong Innovation District. PHOTO: SURBANA JURONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Surbana Jurong (SJ) Group has priced a S$250 million sustainability-linked bond due 2031.

The urban, infrastructure and managed-services consulting firm said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 3) that the bond - more than six times oversubscribed - is the first Singapore dollar-denominated sustainability-linked bond, and the first public sustainability-linked bond issuance from a Southeast Asia based company.

The 10-year Singapore dollar bond at a coupon rate of 2.48 per cent drew "tremendous interest from high-quality institutional investors and private banks", SJ said.

The offering, which drew over S$1.7 billion in orders, was issued under SJ's US$1 billion multi-currency debt-issuance programme.

Proceeds of the bond will be used to fund future growth, refinance existing credit lines and provide working capital, SJ said. It added the proceeds will also boost the group's efforts to translate the UN Sustainable Development Goals, set out in the 2030 agenda, "into concrete, measurable actions".

"The built-environment industry plays a vital role in responding to the climate emergency," said group chief executive officer Wong Heang Fine. "Now, by tying our sustainability targets to our bond financing terms, we are drawing a clear alignment between our financing strategy and our business strategy, anchored in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG)."

To minimise the environmental impact of its operations, SJ aims to reduce net emissions for employees based in the offices of its member companies, and also at its headquarters at SJ Campus in the Jurong Innovation District, when it is completed. It has also pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions at the Campus by 2030.

SJ said this is also the first Asian sustainability-linked bond to feature a premium step-up structure at maturity. If the sustainability goals are not met, SJ has committed to pay investors a premium payment of 0.75 per cent of the redemption amount at maturity.

Group chief financial officer, Andy Atkin, said: "By introducing this premium step-up structure at maturity and working with clients and partners to deliver ESG-focused outcomes, we continue to strengthen our commitment to sustainability."

DBS Bank was appointed the joint lead manager and bookrunner; ANZ Bank was appointed the sole sustainability-structuring advisor and joint lead manager and bookrunner.

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