SL Agritech Corporation (SLAC), the country’s biggest hybrid rice seeds producer, has returned to the local debt market to raise P2 billion, capping this year’s listing at the country’s bond bourse, Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx).

As a result, PDEx President and Chief Operating Officer Nino Nakpil said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the total debt issuance at the bond bourse this year still rose to a record of P388 billion, surpassing last year’s total listing of P375 billion. 

“This is good momentum for next year,” Nakpil said during the virtual listing ceremony for SLAC’s newest commercial paper issuance worth P1.57 billion.

“This is the final listing of 2020. This is now SLAC’s sixth listing on PDEX and it now became a consistent returnee to the public debt market,” he added.
SLAC’s debt issuance is the 36th listing at the bond bourse this year.

SLAC Chief Executive Officer Henry Lim Bon Liong said his company will use the proceeds from the issuance to grow its hybrid rice seeds production as well as support its operations overseas.

“We will use the proceeds to help farmers shift to hybrid rice technology so they can help us increase our production capacity,” Lim said during the listing ceremony.

“We aim to double the production of hybrid rice seeds next year to increase rice productivity in the country. With exporting countries closing their doors to us, there was a need to double local rice production,” he added.  

During the first quarter ending in August, SLAC registered a net profit of P459.3 million, which is higher than the P385.41 million it registered in the same period in 2019, according to the company’s latest financial report.

The group’s net sales, however, declined to P804.02 million from the P812.97 million in the same period last year.

“The decrease of premium products both in seeds and rice is due to the COV|Dl9 pandemic,” SLAC said.

The company’s total operating expenses for the first quarter also went up to P191.30 million from P158.23 million. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (