FMO led a number of significant financial market deals in 2012 as mandated lead arranger. We arranged a syndicate providing more than US$200 million in debt financing to Takoradi International Company Limited (TICO) to help expand its combined-cycle power plant in Ghana. This project marked FMO’s largest individually-led syndicated loan to date, and will contribute to a cleaner and more efficient energy matrix while providing Ghanaian people with affordable energy.
FMO acted as lead arranger in the biggest microfinance syndicated facility ever, arranging US$43 million in syndicate financing to Lanka Orix Micro Credit. As one of the largest microfinance institutions in Sri Lanka, LOMC is the main source of financing for micro, small and medium enterprises mainly located in rural areas. FMO’s loan will benefit private sector growth throughout Sri Lanka. FMO further arranged transactions for larger financial institutions, such as Banpais in Honduras and Federal International Finance in Indonesia.
In addition to arranging deals, we also acted as anchor investor in the Investec Africa Credit Opportunities Fund, which supports the development of African capital markets. We also made progress in setting up the first major fund intended to help Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), with other investors obtaining their approvals during the year. We can now proceed to a first close in early 2013.
When it comes to FMO’s own funding, we achieved two major firsts in 2012. We closed our inaugural − and successful – $500 million three-year benchmark transaction involving investors from Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The transaction was a major strategic advance in our funding program as it established FMO’s name in the market and reached a large number of new investors. Given our growing funding need and the fact that our assets are mostly US dollar-denominated, we will certainly revisit this strategic investor base.
FMO also placed its first-ever ‘sustainability bonds’. By explicitly subscribing to the same sustainability criteria as FMO’s other activities, these bonds demonstrate investors’ commitment to sustainable business. FMO’s sustainability bonds target what is currently a niche investor base. This year FMO placed bonds with KLM and Triodos, two leading Dutch companies interested in sustainable investing. The private placements are advancing FMO’s ambition to make sustainable and responsible investing the gold standard in treasurers’ toolkits.