THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., (Psalm) is planning to raise US$1 billion to refinance the maturing debts of state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor).

Newly installed Energy Secretary Jose Ibazeta said they are looking at several options that include securitize, bond issuance and peso financing.

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However, he said this will depend on the market condition.

“You cannot say what are priorities are because we have to rely on the market, were looking at peso financing, looking at securitize, maybe another bond issuance, depending nga sa conditions ng market,” Ibazeta told reporters.

Ibazeta is the president of Psalm before he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) last Friday.

Psalm is the government arm tasked to privatize the power assets of Napocor.

Ibazeta said the figures could still vary adding that during the initial talks they were only planning to raise US$500 million pay the maturing debts of Napocor next year amounting to more than US$1 billion.

"I can tell you numbers but the final decision is made always when the market is ready for it. It could be U$500 million, US$ 1.5 billion, we have to wait for the market," Ibazeta said.

Early this year, Ibazeta said they plan to raise P20 billion through the issuance of bonds and to take advantage of low interest rates.

Proceeds from this financing scheme will be used to pay part of Napocor’s debts and to fund their capital expenditure, Ibazeta said.

Last May 2009, Psalm issued US$1 billion global bonds and another US$1.2 billion bond exchange offer was issued in November.

At present, Psalm has privatized several assets of Napocor and attained more than 81 percent privatization threshold.

Psalm is now lining up several independent power producers administration (IPPAs) contract which is a precondition for the open access and retail market competition expected to take place next year. (MSN/Sunnex)