YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (4 May 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CNBC today presented the second annual ADB Private Sector-CNBC awards to businesses from India and the Philippines. Janalakshmi Financial Services and AP Renewables Inc. (APRI) were honored for their innovative and impactful private sector solutions to key development challenges.
The awards 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.
"The awards exemplify the ever-growing importance of the private sector in implementing development work in the region," said Michael Barrow, Director General of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department. "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."
Janalakshmi Financial Services, which works to increase access to finance and improve financial services to the underserved urban poor in India, received the award for Best Financial Sector Transaction. ADB signed and disbursed $150 million-rupee equivalent in debt to Janalakshmi Financial Services in December 2016 to help this 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 the Government of India's sanitation initiatives in combination with a technical assistance grant from ADB.
The award for Best Project for Corporate Finance Transaction went to APRI, a subsidiary of leading Philippine power producer Aboitiz Power, one of the largest geothermal energy producers in the Philippines. APRI owns and operates the Tiwi and Makiling Banahaw (MakBan) geothermal facilities, the seventh and fourth largest geothermal power stations in the world, respectively.
In March 2016, APRI issued a local currency bond equivalent to $225 million to refinance sponsor equity in Tiwi and MakBan. ADB provided partial credit enhancement for the bond as well as a direct loan of $37.7 million in Philippine pesos. 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. 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 this region.
The project reflects APRI's commitment to renewable energy in the region. The project also received the prestigious 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.
The winners were chosen by an independent panel with judges from ADB's Independent Evaluation Department and Office of the General Counsel, as well as from CNBC. Only transactions signed in 2016 were eligible. The judges assessed the transactions on the following criteria: innovation, impact, scalability, and value addition from ADB and the financial institution or company.
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 cofinancing.