$57.4 million bond issuance to help fund Auxilio Mutuo hospital expansions
By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Industrial, Tourist, Educational, Medical and Environmental Control Facilities Financing Authority (AFICA by its Spanish acronym) issued $57.4 million in bonds this week that will help pay for expansion of services and improvements at Auxilio Mutuo Hospital.
The announcement was made by Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF) Executive Director Omar Marrero Díaz along with AFICA Executive Director Alfredo Guerra.
“This is the first public issuance of AFICA bonds since 2011, which shows that Puerto Rico continues regaining the trust of the investment sector that is willing to invest capital in projects of this nature,” Marrero Díaz said. “This issuance will allow Grupo Auxilio Mutuo to make improvements to the medical facilities of the institution and to purchase equipment.”
The AFICA executive director noted that the bond issuance received a BBB- investment grade rating from Standard and Poor’s, which is a positive indicator not only for Grupo Auxilio Mutuo, but also for private sector financing in Puerto Rico.
Guerra pointed out that the new AFICA bonds are not guaranteed by the Puerto Rico government or by any of its instrumentalities. The principal and interest payments on the bonds will be made only by Grupo Auxilio Mutuo.
Enrique Fierres, president of the board of trustees of Sociedad Española de Auxilio Mutuo y Beneficencia de Puerto Rico, the parent company of the Auxilio Mutuo Group, stated: “We are very excited about this transaction that will greatly benefit Puerto Rico and improve the quality of life of our patients.”
Meanwhile, Ángel Cocero, president of the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital board of directors, said “[p]art of our commitment is to stay at the forefront of the hospital industry with highly technological equipment and better facilities, so this issuance of AFICA bonds keeps us in that direction.”
AFICA was created by Law No. 121 of June 27, 1977, as amended, to issue debt and loan the proceeds from its sale to provide financing to eligible projects, as defined in AFICA’s law and regulations. The purpose of AFICA is to promote commercial, industrial, tourist, environmental management, medical and educational development while supporting the welfare and safety of the citizens of Puerto Rico.