Monday, April 10, 2017

PSALM lowered 2016 debts by P44.47 billion to P506.34 billion

By Lenie Lectura-

THE liabilities of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) were lower by over P44.47 billion last year.
“As of end-2016, PSALM was able to reduce its financial obligations by P44.47 billion, from the 2015 level of P550.81 billion, to P506.34 billion, broken down into P275.36 billion in debts and P230.98 billion in BOT [build-operate-lease] obligations,” PSALM Officer in Charge Lourdes Alzona said in a text message.
The reduction in the level of financial obligations included bullet payments in 2016, totaling P37.48 billion, made for the following bonds: $160-million Yankee bond; P7.96-billion Salomon Brother Inc.; $478-million Citigroup; P23.20-billion Deutsche Bank; and
P6.32 billion, Hongkong Shanghai tranche B-Deutsche Bank/HSBC.
Alzona said PSALM, the agency tasked to manage state-owned power assets, is determined to reduce the debts of National Power Corp. (Napocor).
Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), PSALM is the government agency tasked to repay the debts of Napocor.
“We are continuously identifying certain measures to avoid and/or minimize costs, specifically on refinancing. Among these steps are stringent management of collectibles, sale of real-estate assets, disposal of other assets, which entail high costs for maintenance,” she said.
PSALM, she added, plans to sell real-estate assets that could fetch an estimated P5 billion.
“The sale would be staggered since we still have to sort out which can be sold, depending on the land title. There are areas that can be sold, such as the resort in Puerto Azul, while there are others that can’t be sold, such as the one in Bagac,” Alzona said.
This plan, she added, will be over and above the Universal Charge administration and other regular activities to support the liquidation of PSALM’s financial obligations, that being its main mandate.
PSALM sourced internal funds from operations of remaining plants and collection of privatization proceeds to pay off Napocor’s debts.
The remaining obligations would also be settled through privatization-collection proceeds.

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