MNTC to raise P10-B for NLEX-SLEX connector road

Posted at 03/31/14 6:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) is planning to raise P10 billion for the construction of the P18 billion toll road that will connect the North and South Luzon Expressways.

MNTC president Rodrigo Franco said the company will raise funds in the last quarter of the year.

“That is around P10 billion and will immediately be after the TRB [Toll Regulatory Board] approval. So we are hoping by the third or the fourth quarter we will be raising financing again,” he said.

MNTC, a unit of infrastructure company Metro Pacific Investments Corp. has also successfully listed P7 billion worth of retail bonds at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEX).

The PDEX listing will be used to finance the P10 billion Harbor Link project.

Franco said MNTC is considering other ways to raise funds, including raising funds from existing shareholders or through the issuance of bonds.

About 70 percent of the funds will be borrowed while the remaining 30 percent will be internally generated, said Franco.

He added that MNTC is monitoring developments in the financial markets after the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) raised the reserve requirements by a percentage point on March 27.

Effective April 4, the reserve requirement for commercial banks will increase to 19 percent from 18 percent, 7 percent from 6 percent for thrift banks, and 5 percent from 4 percent for rural banks

“We have to evaluate because of the developments in the financial markets. We have to study the impact of the decision of the BSP to raise requirements,” he said.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president Ramoncito Fernandez, meanwhile, said an estimated P40 billion will be allotted for road projects in the Philippines and abroad over the next five years.

MPIC earlier said it may develop two major toll road projects in Vietnam, which could cost $1 billion.

The company is in talks with Cuu Long Infrastructure Development and Management Corp. (Cuu Long CIMP) to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam for an expansion project in northern Ho Chi Minh.

“It’s moving well. We had the Vietnam potential partners visit Manila last month. They were very happy with their visit so we are on schedule to submit a joint proposal to the Vietnamese government,” said Fernandez.