14 Aug IFR Asia Green Bonds Roundtable 2017, Wrap Up
IFR Asia convened a panel of specialists in Hong Kong on July 11 to discuss the progress made so far and debate the challenges ahead. 2017 YTD has been a comparatively quiet year for China’s domestic market. However, the arrival of first-time issuers from the likes of India, Australia and Singapore is adding new depth to the region’s green finance push. Standardisation, in particular, remains a thorny issue, despite the efforts of global market participants to draw up a set of voluntary guidelines. A consensus amongst the speakers emerged that the market was not yet ready for premium pricing for green securities, although investors are looking to climate-aligned investments to outperform in the long-term.
Since the Export-Import Bank of Korea launched Asia’s first Green bond in 2013, progress has depended largely on public policy institutions or state-owned banks, with just a handful of corporate issuers embracing the format. In the last 12 months, however, that universe has expanded significantly. Asia’s green issuers now include a host of private-sector companies, from traditional and renewable power generators to property developers. The overseas rupee market has come on line; Singapore and Hong Kong have welcomed their first deals; Chinese issuers have printed in euros.