Two women check photos they have taken in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, as the setting sun shines from behind the International Finance Centre (IFC) tower on Jan 2, 2023. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government offered close to $6 billion worth of green bonds in multiple currencies on Thursday, marking its biggest bond issuance ever.
The bonds, which are denominated in euros, renminbi (RMB), and US dollars, continued to attract a wide spectrum of investors and were well received, with close to $30 billion equivalent in orders, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in a statement. In this green bond offering, the HKMA acted as the government's representative.
The green bonds are expected to be settled on June 7 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
According the HKMA, the green bonds have been assigned credit ratings of AA+ by S&P Global Ratings and AA- by Fitch. Proceeds will be used to finance or refinance projects that provide environmental benefits and support the sustainable development of Hong Kong.
One of the highlights is that the RMB tranches were expanded from a combined 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) from the January 2023 issuance to 15 billion yuan this time, with the additional issuance of a new 10-year RMB tranche.
According to the HKMA, the green bonds have been assigned credit ratings of AA+ by S&P Global Ratings and AA- by Fitch. Proceeds will be used to finance or refinance projects that provide environmental benefits and support the sustainable development of Hong Kong
“The enthusiasm for Hong Kong green bonds from global investors demonstrates their recognition of Hong Kong’s efforts in green and sustainable development,” Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said.
“The offering has included our first 10-year RMB green bond, which helps to extend the offshore RMB yield curve and continues to enrich offshore RMB product offerings, promoting RMB internationalization in an orderly manner,” Chan added.
The issuance of green bonds chimes well with Hong Kong’s ambition to build itself as a global green financing center.
In March 2019, the Hong Kong government published its Green Bond Framework which sets out how green bond proceeds will be used to fund projects that will improve the environment and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The framework was subsequently updated in February 2022, reflecting the government’s latest climate commitments and strategy and aligning with the latest international standards and practices in the green bond market.
READ MORE: Green bonds to boost HK's financial role
The finance chief said the government will continue to regularly issue green bonds to promote innovation and further development of the market.
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