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SMC signs P100-b loan for MRT-7 project

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San Miguel Corp. said Tuesday it signed a P100-billion syndicated loan agreement with a consortium of major Philippine banks for the ongoing construction of Metro Rail Transit Line 7 project.

The fund, which reached financial close on June 1, will help further speed up the construction of MRT-7 which reached 61.92-percent completion as of June 14, 2023, the conglomerate said.

“We are happy to have achieved this milestone. It reflects the confidence that our partner banks have in the government’s vision for progress, and our ability to execute on vital projects that are critical to the country’s social and economic development and growth,” SMC president and chief executive Ramon Ang said.

The funding is also a testament to the resilience and strong business prospects of SMC and its subsidiaries amid a very challenging macro-economic environment, it said.

“The support we are getting from major Philippine banks shows that they recognize how important this project is to many Filipinos, and appreciate our overall vision of a Philippines made more progressive, resilient, and competitive, through investments in major projects such as efficient mass transport systems,” Ang said.

Members of the consortium are BDO Unibank Inc., Philippine National Bank, Bank of Commerce, Security Bank and the Government Service Insurance System. Lead arrangers and bookrunners for the transaction are BDO Capital & Investment Corp., PNB Capital and Investment Corp., SB Capital Investment Corp. and BankCom-Investment Banking Group.

Law firms Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan advised on the transaction.

“SMC’s investments in various infrastructure projects boost the economy as these initiatives facilitate improved connectivity between regions and communities, positively impacting trade, tourism, and overall social integration. We commend SMC for taking these steps towards the country’s growth and we are proud to be their partner in this esteemed endeavor,” said BDO Capital & Investment Corp. president Eduardo Francisco said.

PNB Institutional Banking head and executive vice president Jun Audencial said investing in infrastructure paves the way to improve productivity and growth, expand distribution networks, facilitate trade and connectivity and promote economic inclusion.

“SMC helps provide job opportunities for Filipinos and make the country more industrially competitive. Infrastructure investments are a step towards economic recovery and growth, and nation-building,” he said.

BankCom said it welcomed the opportunity to participate in the SMC project, which it said would “hugely uplift our society and contribute to the group’s vision of a resilient and globally competitive Philippines.”

“Massive infrastructure projects such as the San Miguel Group’s investment in the MRT-7 play a crucial role in building the nation. As SMC Infrastructure continues to strengthen its portfolio and operate the largest infrastructure network in the country, the lives of thousands of Filipinos are made better through safe, sustainable, and accessible transport systems,” said BankCom president and chief executive Michelangelo Aguilar.

Security Bank president and chief executive Sanjiv Vohra said the bank fully supports infrastructure projects that contribute to the overall development and growth of the Philippine economy. He said SMC “is at the forefront of nation-building through its various infrastructure projects that bear national importance and greatly benefit Filipinos.”

The Marcos administration identified the MRT-7 project, which runs from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, as one of 194 high-impact infrastructure flagship projects under its “Build Better, More” program.

The MRT-7 project will have 14 stations including Quezon North Avenue Joint Station, Quezon Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Dona Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose del Monte.

It can accommodate 300,000 passengers in its first year of operations, and up to 850,000 passengers daily in its 12th year.

The project will also feature an intermodal transportation hub catering to other types of public transportation and a 19-km. highway from San Jose del Monte to Bocaue, Bulacan.


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