The National Water Commission, NWC, has floated a historic JMD$15-billion bond on the capital market to help in securing its long-term viability.
The documents were signed this afternoon by officials of the NWC and National Commercial Bank Capital Markets.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the bond is one of the first steps in a possible public-listing of the NWC on the stock exchange.
The bond will be issued in Jamaican dollars with some of the proceeds being used to pay off unsustainable foreign currency debt.
Prime Minister Holness who attended the signing ceremony praised the bond as a means to correct the poor balance sheet of the NWC.
Five-billion dollars of the bond will be set at a 40-year maturation tenure. It represents the second largest Jamaican dollar private placement bond in the country’s history.
Prime Minister Holness was particularly pleased to note that the bond will carry no government guarantee.
The remainder of the bond will be used to improve infrastructure and tackle the issue of wasted non-revenue water which has perennially plagued the NWC. This will include the acquisition of 450,000 smart water meters to improve revenue collection.
The Prime Minister also says it paves the way to list the NWC on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. A suggestion he had put forward in Opposition.