The First Nations Finance Authority Issues $106M (CA) in Loans to First Nations

by mmnationtalk on July 20, 20152322 Views

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The First Nations Finance Authority Issues $106M (CA) in Loans to First Nations

WESTBANK, BRITISH COLUMBIA (July 20, 2015) – The First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) is pleased to announce the reopening of its 2014 inaugural debenture to add an additional $50 million (CA) of debt, for a combined issue of $140 million (CA). These proceeds, plus interim bridge financing, have funded $106M in new loans this year. FNFA bonds are used by the Authority’s Borrowing Members (participating First Nation governments) for capital purposes, investing in the infrastructure that encourages economic development and supports the building of safe, healthy, and prosperous First Nation communities.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Chair of the FNFA, stated, “I am extremely pleased with the market interest in, and reception of, FNFA bonds and the incredible potential for growth. Pooling First Nation borrowing requirements through the FNFA, based on a collective credit, has made access to timely and affordable public financing for First Nations a reality.” Chair Wilson-Raybould added that “the FNFA is helping to bring about transformative change in First Nation communities. With the monies raised through the FNFA, First Nations are now able to build much-needed infrastructure that supports social and economic development.”

Siksika Nation, Alberta will use their proceeds from the opened issue to build a new school. According to Siksika Chief, Vincent Yellow Old Woman, “working with the FNFA means that our children will be able to go to a school that we are able to build in a good way for them.” Vincent Andrew, the Chief Financial Officer of the Siksika Nation, commented that “having an organization like the FNFA has really been a life saver in many ways. ” He added, “Siksika Nation had other borrowing options through the traditional banks—but with the FNFA, the rates, terms and conditions were better and, quite frankly, FNFA was a lot easier to work with.”

Chief David Harry of the Malahat First Nation, BC, also participating in the second issue, commented that “for about the last 20 years, we struggled internally and were only managing poverty.” Today, however, “Malahat First Nation has a comprehensive, community-driven plan that focuses on nation building, where increasing the land base was an important component of this plan. The FNFA gave us the ability to acquire the land a lot faster than we ever thought possible.” Lawrence Lewis, Manager of the Malahat First Nation added, “being a Borrowing Member of the FNFA gives us the tools we need to protect our language and culture and deliver on the goals that our community members have expressed through our comprehensive community plan.”

“The FNFA is quickly becoming the lender of choice for First Nations governments,” explained Ernie R. Daniels, President and CEO. “First Nations are beginning to see that there is a better and more appropriate way to finance their projects, and in a manner similar to other governments in Canada.”

The FNFA is a not-for-profit First Nation institution established pursuant to the federal First Nations Fiscal Management Act. The FNFA provides qualifying First Nations from across Canada with access to the capital markets. The Borrowing Members of the FNFA govern the FNFA through an elected Board of Directors. The FNFA enjoys two investment grade credit ratings: A3 from Moody’s Investors Service and A- from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

For more information, please visit the FNFA website at www.fnfa.ca.

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Media contact:

Ernie R. Daniels,
President and CEO, First Nations Finance Authority,
Phone: (250) 768.5253 ext. 112, email: edaniels@fnfa.ca

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