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China's ICBC lists first green bonds in Luxembourg

By Cecily Liu | | Updated: 2017-10-31 02:52

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China celebrated its first ever listing of green bonds on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange on Monday, building on the strong momentum of China's green finance market.

The bonds, issued at the end of last month in US dollars and euros, are raising funds to finance environmentally-friendly projects along area related to the Belt and Road Initiative. They raised $2.15 billion.

Chen Fei, general manager of ICBC's Luxembourg branch, said that the ICBC green bond issue reflects the bank's strategy of promoting responsible banking while advancing the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Tapping the international green capital market gives us a new channel to fund the projects with environmental benefits." Chen said.

Green bonds became popular recently among investors seeking long-term stability. Certified green infrastructure and energy projects adhere to stricter future climate-friendly regulations, so reducing climate policy risks for investors.

China is already a leader in green finance. It issued $36 billion of green bonds in 2016, which was almost 40 percent of the $81 billion of green bonds issued globally.

ICBC said the funds raised from its green bonds will be dedicated to financing and refinancing projects relating to renewable energy, low carbon and low emission transportation, energy efficiency, and sustainable water and wastewater management.

The ICBC bonds satisfy the Green Bond Principles standards for green bonds, and are certified by the Oslo-based Center for International Climate and Environmental Research.

Robert Scharfe, chief executive of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, said the ICBC green bond is "another testimony of the dedication of Chinese issuers toward green finance".

"It's listing on the Luxembourg Green Exchange will foster full transparency of information toward investors" Scharfe said.

By the end of 2016, ICBC saw a lending balance of 978.56 billion yuan ($147.21 billion) to energy-saving, environmental-friendly projects and services.

It is also the largest underwriting bank in green bonds in China.

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