WFF and WaterWorX signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the cooperation in Kenya |WFF and WaterWorX signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the cooperation in Kenya
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Kenya takes offThe first National Water Financing Facility (NWFF), Kenya Pooled Water Fund (KPWF), has been initiated in Kenya with support of the Netherland Embassy in Nairobi, the Kenyan National Treasury, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Water Sector Trust Fund, USAID, SIDA and SNV. The Kenyan NWFF has been incorporated with a Kenyan Board and senior staff members and expects the first pooled bond to be issued in 2019. The projects in first bond issuance will provide new services to aprox. 400,000 people of which 25% are living in designated Low Income Areas. We expect the Kenya NWFF to be able to plan similar bond issuances each year going forward.
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What we do and how it impacts where we do itThe Water Financing Facility (WFF) mobilizes large-scale private investment from domestic institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies by issuing local currency bonds in the capital market in support of their own country’s’ national priority actions on water and sanitation service delivery. The aim is to develop several country level water financing facilities, which can issue bond in their capital markets to provide long-term loans to public or private water utilities that have little or no access to commercial finance or that have access at unfavorable terms, such as short tenors. Through the pooling of credit worthy water projects, the bonds will have lower risk. This risk can be further reduced, if reserve funds, guarantees, soft loans or grants for blended finance can be incorporated into the capital market structures. The first National Water Financing Facility (NWFF) has been initiated in Kenya with support of the Netherland Embassy in Nairobi, the Kenyan National Treasury, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Water Sector Trust Fund, USAID, SIDA and SNV. The Kenyan NWFF will shortly be incorporated with a Kenyan Board and senior staff members and expects the first issuance of bonds (approx. KES 3.5 Billion for 6 Water Services Providers) to be issued by the end of the first quarter of 2018. This long term local currency financing will enable water and/or sanitation access to about 800.000 additional people, of which about 25% are poor and or living in rural areas. We expect the Kenya NWFF to be able to plan similar bond issuances each year going forward. The global WFF is targeting other countries to be operationalized soon, possibly including western Africa (franco-phone region), South Africa, Peru, Indonesia, Vietnam.
FundingWFF is soliciting grants to fund i) operational start-up expenses of WFF at global level, ii) NWFF set-up and project development costs in target countries, and iii) contribution to credit enhancement for specific transactions in target countries (see Table below). WFF, supported by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, seeks to obtain a total of Euro 65 million in co-financing support from development partners, international financing institutions and other organizations (see table below). The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development has already provided EUR 10 million in seed-funding to date.
About |[slick-slider category="9" arrows="false" autoplay="true" autoplay_interval="5000" speed="1000" fade="true" design="design-2" ]
Tapping local capital marketsThe Water Finance Facility (WFF) mobilises large-scale private investment from domestic institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies and other qualified investors, by issuing local currency bonds in the capital market in support of their own country's national priority actions on water and sanitation service delivery. The aim is to develop several country level water finance facilities, which can issue bonds in their capital markets to provide long-term loans to public or private water utilities that have little or no access to commercial finance or that have access at unfavorable terms, such as short tenors. Through the pooling of projects of credit worthy water and sanitation companies, the bonds will have lower risk. This risk can be further reduced, if reserve funds, guarantees, soft loans or grants for blended finance can be incorporated into the capital market structures.
Why WFFThe availability of financing and safe management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6) cannot be achieved by public sector funding and management alone. WFF, as a non-bank, public benefit financial company, can make a difference by using its capital to develop local water financing facilities that can bring private, large-scale and long-term capital market financing into the water sector. At the same time, WFF will enhance local capital market development by providing alternative, credit worthy, long term investments opportunities for the local pension funds and other investors of the domestic capital market. WFF’s target is to help local water utilities develop financeable projects and obtain access to financing and thus provide approximately 20 million people with sustainable access to safe water and adequate sanitation services.
The benefits of Pooled FundsA pooled bond transaction involves aggregating or bundling loans from several credit worthy water and sanitation companies and issuing a single bond to the capital market. The local pooled transaction is appropriately credit enhanced with de-risking instruments (e.g. guarantees) to become a viable investment proposition for the local institutional investor community. Pooling a number of loans into a single transaction for financing has three advantages over single issuance vehicles: (1) the common financing structure spreads the transaction costs among all borrowers, creating an economy of scale, (2) larger capital market financings attract more investors, and (3) pools diversify risk and are less costly to credit enhance.
Achieving a target business volume of €1 billion by the end of 10 yearsWFF’s goal is to catalyse the issuance of an aggregate of circa €1 billion in water bonds in 5-8 countries. At that point, the WFF is expected to have achieved financial self-sustainability, such that its operations can be maintained at scale via its interest revenues (margin between borrowing and lending rates ) without further donor support. This results from the objective to establish because of the revolving character the WFF as a revolving fund, such that (repayment by the NWFFs) of a substantial part of the development expenses made funding provided by WFF directly for the NWFFs will be in the form of a repayable loan.
Jean-Pierre Sweerts | Managing DirectorJean-Pierre has 20 years background in financing and investing in water and in clean energy infrastructure and in (impact) private equity and venture capital, worldwide. He has been Head Corporate Responsibility at Rabobank. Before he became active in the financial sector, he worked at Delft Hydraulics in the water sector in various managerial and consultancy positions. He has and has had supervisory board positions in a range of companies, infrastructure projects, public institutes, investment funds and foundations. He has an IEP from INSEAD and a PhD in Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Richard Torkelson | Financial & Organisational StructuringSenior Advisor with Unplugged Capital, a syndicated loan fund. Work experience includes being an international finance consultant and senior advisor, an investment banker, and a high-ranking governmental official specializing in various areas of government and public finance, especially as it relates to water and wastewater infrastructure. Formerly a Board Member on the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).
Martin Baker | Legal & Organisational StructuringMartin is an environmental lawyer based in New York. He has a particular expertise in infrastructure development and finance. He has participated in the evaluation, organization and management of pooled financing entities in more than a dozen countries. This experience began with his service as Director on the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, which pool finances all municipal water and sanitation projects in New York State.
Caroline Noothoven | Senior Legal CounselCaroline is a finance transactional lawyer who has been involved in lending and private equity transactions in emerging markets for over 15 years. She started her career in private practice with focus on capital market transactions, but subsequently worked in-house with the Dutch Development Bank FMO, the Investment Fund for Health in Africa, DOB Equity and BIX Capital. During a period of 4 years Caroline was located in Lagos, Nigeria.
Maarten Blokland | Water Utility & Project DevelopmentMaarten Blokland is a civil engineer by training and worked in water supply and sanitation in more than 50 countries worldwide. His professional expertise includes the development of investment projects, performance assessment and capacity development of water utilities, services provision to the poor and the review of water and sanitation programmes and projects. He held various management functions including those of Vice-Rector Education, Deputy Director and Acting Director of IHE Delft. He was a Governor and Executive Board Member of the World Water Council, and was Member of the Board of UNDP’s Cap-Net, of Delft Cluster and of the Netherlands Water Partnership.
Hein Gietema | Funding & StructuringHein Gietema has been working in the international finance and infrastructure domains for over 20 years. He has a strong background in developing and structuring infrastructure funds and projects. Hein advised the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs on several innovative funds (TCX, ORIO, DGGF, WASH Fund). Hein was also appointed by FMO as the member of the Board of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). He is Partner in a private equity water fund in Asia, he holds a Board position in Investeringsfonds Groningen BV (EUR 50 million) and is member of the Investment Committee of KIFFWA (Kenya Innovative Financing Facility for Water), a developer of commercially viable water projects in Kenya. Hein started his career as a banker at the Netherlands investment bank (NIBC) after he concluded his Masters (‘with merit’) in Business Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.