Surbana Jurong Group bond, Southeast Asia’s first public sustainability-linked bond, is more than six times oversubscribed
Offering ties sustainability targets to bond financing terms; draws over S$1.7 billion in orders
Singapore, 3 February 2021 – Surbana Jurong Group, a global urban, infrastructure and managed services consulting firm, has successfully priced a S$250 million sustainability-linked bond due 2031 (“bond offering”) under its US$1,000,000,000 multicurrency debt issuance programme. This is the first Singapore dollar-denominated sustainability-linked bond and the first public sustainability-linked bond issuance from a Southeast Asian based company. This is also the first Asian sustainability-linked bond to feature a premium step-up structure at maturity.
The ten-year Singapore dollar bond at a coupon rate of 2.48 per cent drew tremendous interest from high quality institutional investors and private banks. With the sustainability linked structure, Surbana Jurong will further expand and diversify its investor base with strong demand not only from Singaporean investors, but further afield, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, China, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, the UK and other countries. The offering was more than six times oversubscribed, drawing over S$1.7 billion in orders.
Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group Chief Executive Officer, Surbana Jurong Group, said: “The built environment industry plays a vital role in responding to the climate emergency. Over the past seven decades, in our various iterations, Surbana Jurong Group has embraced sustainability as a principle in our design and execution. Now, by tying our sustainability targets to our bond financing terms, we are drawing a clear alignment between our financing strategy and our business strategy, anchored on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG).
“As an industry leader, Surbana Jurong has demonstrated consistent progress in achieving our growth and ESG objectives. While reducing our own carbon footprint, we are working actively to help our clients do more with less. The robust take-up of this bond reflects the market’s confidence in the Group and investors’ support for our sustainability efforts.”
To minimise the environmental impact of its operations, the Group aims to reduce net emissions for employees based at the offices of its member companies and when completed, its headquarters Surbana Jurong Campus. Expanding on this target, the Group has also pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions at the Campus by 2030. This aligns with Surbana Jurong Group’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to the World Green Building Council, which aims to see 100 percent uptake of net zero carbon buildings by 2050.
Proceeds of the bond will be used to fund future growth, refinance existing credit lines and provide working capital; it will also boost the Group’s efforts to translate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), set out in the 2030 Agenda, into concrete, measurable actions.
If the sustainability goals are not met, Surbana Jurong has committed to pay investors a premium payment of 0.75 per cent of the redemption amount at maturity. The bond is issued in accordance with its newly established Sustainable Finance Framework, guided by the Sustainability Linked Bond Principles (2020) developed by the International Capital Markets Association.
Mr Andy Atkin, Group Chief Financial Officer, Surbana Jurong Group said: “Within Surbana Jurong’s Sustainable Finance Framework is an innovative financing structure featuring a premium payment if the company falls short of its sustainability goals. By introducing this premium step-up structure at maturity and working with clients and partners to deliver ESG-focused outcomes, we continue to strengthen our commitment to sustainability. The Sustainable Bond Grant Scheme by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), enhanced to cover sustainability-linked bonds, will spur more firms to adopt sustainable practices through green and sustainability-linked financing.”
Several of the institutional investors participating in this offering are existing investors in the Group’s first bond, one of 2018’s largest corporate bond issuances in the Singapore dollar bond market.
Since then, Surbana Jurong Group has grown in size, revenue and sustainability credentials. In 2019, it generated S$1.7 billion in revenue, more than half of which was derived in markets outside Singapore. The Group has also continued forging its integrated value proposition through a series of transformative acquisitions, adding SAA, Prostruct Consulting and Atelier Ten as member companies over the last two years.
In particular, Atelier Ten, the London-headquartered global award-winning environmental design consultancy who joined the Group in November 2020, has enhanced its sustainability expertise and track record.
DBS Bank Ltd. was appointed the joint lead manager and bookrunner and ANZ Bank was appointed the sole sustainability structuring advisor and joint lead manager and bookrunner.
Mr Clifford Lee, Global Head of Fixed Income, DBS Bank Ltd. said: “The sustainability-linked bond ticked many firsts in deepening Asia’s ESG financing landscape. It is an exciting development that serves to expand the breadth of sustainability-linked instruments to further the sustainability drive in the region. The resounding reception to the bond’s issuance is testament to Surbana Jurong Group’s credit strength and business model, as well as the market’s endorsement of sustainability-linked instruments, paving the way for a new wave of such products in the near future.”
Ms Stella Saris Chow, Head of Sustainable Finance International for ANZ and Sole Sustainability Coordinator said: “As the first public sustainability-linked bond issuance in Southeast Asia and the SGD bond markets, this demonstrates Surbana Jurong’s strong leadership in establishing a comprehensive Sustainable Finance Framework and willingness to provide a premium payment to investors should it not meet its ambitious climate targets by 2030.”
The bond offering is supported by a pre-issuance report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and will be subject to annual reporting and periodic verification by a third-party advisor. The bonds are expected to be issued on 10 February 2021, subject to the fulfilment of customary closing conditions.
Please see the annexe for examples of Surbana Jurong Group’s sustainability-focused projects.
About Surbana Jurong Group
Surbana Jurong Group is a global urban, infrastructure and managed services consulting firm, with over 70 years of track record in successful project delivery. Headquartered in Singapore, the group has a global talent pool of over 16,000 across Surbana Jurong and our member companies AETOS, Atelier Ten, B+H, KTP, Prostruct, RBG, SAA, Sino-Sun and SMEC, based in more than 120 offices in over 40 countries. They include architects, designers, planners, engineers and other specialists driven by progressive thinking and creative ideas to shape a better future.
Our technical experts deliver sustainable solutions that cover the entire project life cycle from planning and design, through to delivery and management, as well as decommissioning and closure. We provide a full suite of multidisciplinary consultancy services across a diverse range of sectors including aviation, healthcare, hospitality, transport, energy, water and the environment.
Surbana Jurong has built more than a million homes in Singapore, created master plans in more than 30 countries and developed over 100 industrial parks globally. Our tag line “Building Cities, Shaping Lives” expresses how every project or undertaking is, for the Group, an opportunity to fulfil aspirations and enrich lives. By designing and delivering quality housing, work spaces, roads, rail, hydropower, dams, underground and coastal protections and other critical infrastructure needed by our clients, we are redefining cities and transforming them into sustainable and liveable spaces where communities and businesses, present and future, can thrive.
For more information, please visit: www.surbanajurong.com.
Group Chief Communications and Branding Officer
Surbana Jurong Group
Surbana Jurong Group has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, evident in its track record of sustainability-focused projects. Here are some examples:
1. Atelier Ten designed Gardens by the Bay in Singapore with WilkinsonEyre and Grant Associates. The project is a showcase environmental project where the environmental design embeds both building scale and city scale circular economy principles. The huge cooled conservatories house European and tropical montane plants and the conditioning is run entirely using waste wood from Singapore’s tree management programme.
2. The Living Planet Centre is the UK headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund for nature. This multi-award winning and innovative office by Atelier Ten was conceived as a zero emission and net zero carbon building, The operations strategy includes mixed mode ventilation, earth ducts for air preconditioning and ground source heat pumps for the limited heating and cooling required. The interior of the building is extensively lit by daylight and incorporates many biophilic elements that provide excellent health and well-being benefits to the occupants.
3. The extraordinary LEED Platinum Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah designed by Zaha Hadid Architects with Atelier Ten has been designed with a view to minimising both energy consumption and potable water consumption by adopting and using local climate patterns and resources as a way of optimising the building’s environmental performance and minimising material use during construction. The active and passive energy approaches are predicted to provide a 30% reduction in energy consumption. The net result of these strategies is a zero-emission building with very low energy demands.
4. The Comcast Technology Center with Foster and Partners redefines sustainability for a high-rise tower in Philadelphia. Atelier Ten comprehensively addressed the project’s approach to sustainability through careful energy and systems design, indoor environmental quality, water consumption, and material selection to submit for LEED Platinum.
5. In Australia, a vibrant new cultural meeting place, the Sydney Modern Museum Project by SANAA + Architectus creates a series of gallery pavilions that reduce light levels as they step down a hillside from the bright Australian sunshine. Atelier Ten helped calibrate this daylight journey through intensive daylight design analysis and architectural integration. A range of environmental design measures position the Sydney Modern Project in the top tier of energy efficient global art museums.
6. Surbana Jurong designed the NUS School of Design and Environment 4, Singapore’s first new-build net-zero energy building, in collaboration with Serie + Multiply Consultants. In addition to achieving the net-zero energy target, the building provides users with healthy spaces where staff and students can interact, creating the social quality desired to spur creativity and innovation.
7. Surbana Jurong designed the world’s first multi-tiered fish farm. When completed, this vertical farm which is modular and scalable is expected to increase local fish production by 50%, significantly contributing towards food sustainability in Singapore.
8. Surbana Jurong secured the inaugural ABC (Active-Beautiful-Clean) Waters Gold Certification from Singapore’s Public Utilities Board for the Rivervale Shores residential project. With more than 50% of the area allocated to planting, the development offers lush greenery and recreational spaces. Among its sustainability features, the project maintains the pre-development peak stormwater runoff and keeps a rainwater harvesting tank to collect treated water for reuse in the irrigation of its gardens.
9. Surbana Jurong Campus is the project with the largest gross floor area to participate in the Green Mark for Super Low Energy (SLE) Building Pilot study. In 2019, it was awarded Green Mark Platinum (SLE) by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.
10. Surbana Jurong has designed and delivered 26 townships with over one million homes in Singapore. Core to the design of these townships and homes is sustainability, liveability and longevity.
11. The Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme, the namesake project of Surbana Jurong Group’s member company SMEC, is a major renewable energy project. One of the seven civil engineering wonders of the modern world, the project is now in its 2.0 expansion. SMEC is proud to continue its involvement in the project, which upon completion will be Australia’s largest renewable energy project. As one of the world’s biggest pumped storage plants, it will provide enough energy storage to power the equivalent of half a million homes.
12. B+H, another member of Surbana Jurong Group, has a proven track-record of delivering leading-edge sustainable projects, including Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building Design certified institutional building, Canada’s first retrofit to achieve a Zero Carbon Building Design certification, and the first net-zero carbon facility dedicated to archival preservation in the Americas.