As energy costs soar, Japan power utilities rush to secure cash

Bond offerings by eight companies reach 24-year high

Nikkei -- Jul 18
Japanese power utilities are stepping up fundraising as high resource prices and a weak yen deplete their cash holdings, with total bond offerings this fiscal year set to rise 6% to 1.73 trillion yen ($12.4 billion).

The figure is based on fundraising targets by Japan's top eight utilities -- a group that excludes Chubu Electric Power and Chugoku Electric Power. Bonds issued by the eight that are slated to mature in fiscal 2022 total roughly 700 billion yen, according to I-N Information Systems, meaning that the companies plan to procure 2.5 times the amount in the year through March 2023.

Power companies are becoming significant players in the bond market. The amount of debt issued by Japan's 10 power utilities accounted for 23% of the total sum by Japanese companies in the April-June quarter of this year, up 9% from fiscal 2021, according to data by Refinitiv and others.

While many companies are forgoing fundraising through bond offerings as they expect higher interest rates going forward, power utilities, short on cash, have no choice but to rely on the market.

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