March Media Digest: Green bonds trending in the South China Morning Post, Global Capital, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and more

With high profile green bonds continuing to make headlines and break records in March, here’s our rundown of the big stories making waves. 


Green Bond Market Stories


Finance Asia, China and Korea rev up green bond market
Jackie Horne

Hyundai Capital entered the green bond market as issuance starts to accelerate in the Chinese market.

Hyundai Capital took the Asian green bond market up another gear on Monday night with the completion of the $500 million deal tied to green auto-finance loans for Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.


Alt Energy Stocks, Hyundai Charges Up Green Bond with EVs and Hybrids
Climate Bonds Team

Our comment on the Hyundai green bond published in Alt Energy Stocks.

The Hyundai and Kia Hybrids in this green bond are all under a 110 g CO2/pkm maximum emissions – so not far off the [Climate Bonds] standard threshold. This is compared to the top performing petrol and diesel cars, which struggle to get below 110 g CO2/pkm in emissions.


Apple’s green bond wasn’t forgotten by the big media titles. Like all things Apple it was big news…

The Guardian, Can Apple's $1.5bn green bond inspire more environmental investments
Alison Moodie

Apple’s green bond reflects a growing corporate concern about the economic impact of climate change. Businesses are responsible for the majority of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving up average temperatures worldwide and affecting many companies’ bottom lines. 


The Wall Street Journal, California Wants to Know: What’s Next for Green Bonds?
Mike Cherney

California State Treasurer John Chiang, member of the Climate Bond Standards Advisory Board* discussed green bonds with investors in New York and Boston. He expressed ambitions for his state to become a green bonds role model for other parts of America.

The treasurer’s office, which not only oversees bond sales but also invests public funds, has also purchased green bonds in the past from entities like the World Bank. Mr. Chiang, elected treasurer in 2014, appeared hopeful that California’s green-bond efforts could help jump-start green-bond sales in other states as well.


Global Capital, Forget pricing: the real green bonds boost is diversity
Lewis McLellan

Lewis McLellan talks about the advantages of running a green bonds programme that go well beyond the much talked about ‘tighter pricing’.

Issuers that have chosen to add a green element to their funding programme are not only saving the environment – they are saving themselves stress during difficult market windows.


FTSE Global Markets, Kommuninvest’s inaugural green bond upped to $600m

FTSE reports on the largest Nordic green bond issued to date – an inaugural green bond from Sweden’s municipal lender Kommuninvest.

Appetite for the bond was strong, with the final book size approaching $900m for an upsized $600m, allowing for pricing at the tight end of the guidance. “we are pleased to see so many renowned environmentally focused investors in the book (…)” notes Anders Gånge, head of Funding & Treasury, at Kommuninvest.


Environmental Finance, Green bond comment March: A spring in its step
Peter Cripps

Monthly green bonds update from Peter Cripps.

Overall, sentiment is positive. I am particularly excited by the way that national regulators are embracing the market, as countries begin viewing it as a way to help them meet their emissions targets. China and India have come up with their own green bond standards, and Mexico has joined the growing list of stock exchanges offering a dedicated green bond segment to encourage activity.


Climate Bonds Standard


Blue & Green Tomorrow, White House Recognition for Climate Bonds Standards at World Water Day Summit

Our Climate Bonds Water Standard and the upcoming certified bond from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recognized at the White House Water Summit.

Climate Bonds CEO Sean Kidney: “(…) To address water sustainability, we need to shift investable capital towards adaptive and resilient projects in a short space of time. This positive acknowledgement by the White House of the Water Climate Bonds Standard’s role in evaluating blue/green investments will boost investor confidence.


Environmental Finance, Setting the standard
Sophie Robinson-Tillett

Sophie Robinson-Tillett did a grand job gathering opinions about the Climate Bonds Standard from investors, bankers, environmentalists, rating agencies and other market players. One of her interviewees, Damian Regan from PwC comments:

“The CBI is the only body we see that can realistically respond to this need and has recently come out with clean, concise rules on what is green, and developed a certification process which provides comfort to investors."


Bloomberg, Bond Market Asking `What Is Green?' Curbs Climate-Friendly Debt
Anna Hirtenstein

Hirtenstein wonders if the scrutiny that comes with standards for green bonds might sour some of the issuers.

“The voluntary principles act like a filter, only letting bonds through if they fit the guidelines,” said Dan Shurey, analyst at BNEF. “Like any filter, these principles are needed to bring quality and consistency to the labeled-green-bond market, but by doing so, they can slow the flow of capital into it.”




Reflecting monthly growth in the Chinese green bond market, China gets its very own section in our media digest.

China Daily, New Chinese green bond standards backed by the industry
Cecily Liu

As endorsements for the Chinese national green bonds standards continue to pour in, Cecily Liu throws more light on the criteria that the Beijing government set for green bonds investments.

Sean Kidney, CEO and Co-founder of the Climate Bond Initiative, said the Chinese standards greatly overlap with the CBI standards. He said some items in the Chinese catalogue will be useful for international use, and his team will consider these items when updating CBI standards. These will include criteria around flood protection measures, waste recycling and fish farms.


China Daily, China on track to build world's largest green bond market
Cecily Liu

A headline which we have become accustomed to seeing and hope to see many more times in the coming year.  

With a significant commitment to combat climate change, experts estimate China may reap 1.5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) for renewable energy and environmental projects within the next five years. In 2015 the global green bond market was worth only $46 million, and was only created in 2008 when the World Bank issued the first green bond.


South China Morning Post, Green finance proposal planned by government’s Financial Services Development Council
Phoenix Kwong

Kwong on Hong Kong authority’s desire to stimulate green bonds. According to its report, the city will be submitting a green bonds proposal to the Chinese government some time soon.  Hear hear!

“The potential of green finance is huge, for example [providing funding to] water purifying projects and environmentally friendly buildings,” Cha, a National People’s Congress deputy, said in Beijing on Friday.


Bloomberg, China Aims for Green Bond Expansion with Shanghai Bourse Trial
Lianting Tu 

Bloomberg, on the corporate Green Bond Pilot Program at the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Under the trial, issuers are required to disclose details of projects that they will invest in using proceeds (…). The bourse will encourage firms to get independent professional assessment

on whether the projects qualify as green (…).


Environmental Finance, China to see wave of corporate green bonds, says HSBC
Sophie Robinson-Tillett

Environmental Finance quotes a report from HSBC in which the bank’s analysts predict a boom in Chinese corporate green bonds issuance.

HSBC says it expects the corporate market to experience a boom in 2016, in part because of the precedent set by China's banks, but also because the country's National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII) – a subsidiary of the People's Bank of China – is developing guidelines relating to green bonds, which are expected to help non-financial corporations in the interbank market.




Global Capital, India’s green issuers set to make a dash for cash
Narae Kim

Will India keep up with its biggest neighbour when it comes to green bonds? An in-depth analysis from Narae Kim.

Although skeptics argue that the Indian green bond market is driven more by the government than market forces, most market participants believe the asset class is set to take off in the next 12-18 months due to the country’s insatiable demand – and need – for green projects.


Clean Technica, Indian Banks, Financial Institutions to Fund 76 GW of Renewable Energy Projects
Saurabh Mahapatra 

Renewable energy commitments made by India’s public and private sector banks and financial institutions are good news for the country’s green bonds enthusiast.

Indian banks and financial institutions are gearing up to assist the government in achieving the ambitious renewable energy target of 175 GW by March 2022.


AP Renewables


Coverage of the certified climate bond issued by Philippines geothermal company AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI) continued to pour in throughout March.

Environmental Finance, Philippines geothermal firm issues credit-enhanced green bond
Sophie Robinson-Tillett

AP Renewables, a Philippines-based project operator and developer, has issued a PHP10.7 billion ($225 million) green bond, with backing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Asia Asset Management, ADB to develop debt capital markets in Asia Pacific
Sherilyn Goh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) made headlines when it recently announced its endorsement of Asia’s first climate bond deal, providing credit enhancement to Philippine-based firm, AP Renewables Inc – a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower) (…)., PH firm to issue first ‘green bonds’ in region
Riza T. Olchondra

The Climate Bond, which has been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative, is the first in Asia and the Pacific and the first ever for a single project in an emerging market.


Clean Technica, ADB Backs Climate Bond By Philippine Renewable Energy Developer
Saurabh Mahapatra 

Proceeds from the bond will be used for a geothermal project.


That’s all for now,

Climate Bonds


*Disclosure: The CBSAB is an Advisory Committee to the Climate Bonds Board.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this communication does not constitute investment advice and the Climate Bonds Initiative is not an investment adviser. Links to external websites are for information purposes only. The Climate Bonds Initiative accepts no responsibility for content on external websites.

The Climate Bonds Initiative is not advising on the merits or otherwise of any investment. A decision to invest in anything is solely yours. The Climate Bonds Initiative accepts no liability of any kind for investments that any individual or organisation makes, nor for investments made by third parties on behalf of an individual or organisation.