The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has led a lending package of US$300mn to a Chinese utility, rounding off a busy year in Asia for the World Bank institution.
The Beijing Enterprise Water Group (BEWG) has borrowed the money in a trio of tranches, comprising a range of commercial banks, and the finance will be used to fund water and wastewater treatment projects in a rapidly urbanising China.
The first two tranches are of US$28mn and US$21mn and come from the IFC’s own account and its managed co-lending portfolio programme, respectively. The latter is a platform that attracts capital from institutional investors.
The final tranche – a ‘B’ loan – was syndicated to a group of 13 commercial lenders. GTR can reveal that the lenders are:
Aozora Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, BPI Capital, Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank, FMO, KEB Hana, Kookmin Bank (Tokyo), Kookmin Bank (International), NEC Capital Solutions, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, State Bank of India and Tokyo Star Bank.
The pricing remains confidential, but the IFC says the demand for syndication shows “the confidence in the water sector development in China” which is expected to be a big part of the government’s next five-year plan.
“We believe water holds great potential to support China’s continued economic development,” says the IFC’s Hyun-Chan Cho, head of infrastructure, Asia. “We are committed to working with our clients, who have established implementation track records and operational capacities, to further improve water and wastewater treatment services and inclusive growth in China.”
This continues the IFC’s increasing tilt towards China. Earlier in December, the development bank invested in a US$300mn stake of the Posting Savings Bank of China (PSBC). It has invested more than US$10bn in the PRC since 1985, and this year has seen it arrange a number of high-profile power and utility loans.
Away from China, the IFC was also one of the lenders to the US$4.4bn Oyu Tolgoi mining deal, signed in Mongolia this month.