China Bank issues first green bond, raises $150-M for climate-smart projects

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This green bond further raises the company’s climate portfolio to over $200 million, or roughly P11 billion.

By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

China Banking Corp. has raised $150 million in its first green bond issued, with World Bank Group-member International Finance Corp. as its sole investor.

In a disclosure to the Stock Market on Friday, China Bank said it will be using the $150 million to fund “climate-smart projects, increasing the company’s climate portfolio to more than $200 million,” or roughly P11 billion. These include investments in renewable energy, green buildings and water conservation projects.

“IFC is proud to play a role in creating a new green bond market in the Philippines, a country challenged by climate change impacts but where green financing is low,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. “Our investment in this bond will increase access to new financing for climate-smart projects.”

In December last year, the IFC subscribed to BDO’s green bond issuance, kicking off its green bond investments in the East Asia and Pacific region. In August of this year, the IFC issued its Mabuhay Bond, its first peso-denominated, internationally-rated green bond.

China Bank President William C. Whang in the same statement said that the green bond affirms the company’s “long-term commitment to sustainability.” In 2017, China Bank participated in the mobilization of PHP796 billion in loans, bonds, and securities for projects contributing to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

The company claims the new green bond and its sustainability strategy places them among the country’s market leaders for climate-smart financing, aligning with the government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2030.