Monday, February 24, 2020
Martin Hennecke

Five green bonds pass quality check
The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency said it has completed five certification projects from its Green Finance Certification Scheme since its launch last year.

Of these, four corporations have issued green bonds successfully in the local market, including Swire Properties (1972) and New World Development (0017).

The HKQAA aims to provide third-party conformity assessments for green finance issuers, said deputy chairman Ho Chi-shing. It developed the scheme after referring to several international standards and principles implemented by People's Bank of China.

Ho said the costs of the certification scheme is currently around HK$100,000, adding that the government's plan to subsidize green bonds issuers for a grant ceiling of HK$800,000 would be more than enough to cover the certification costs.

French-based Vigeo Eiris, which provides assessment of companies concerning their practices on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, said yesterday that it has set up an office in Hong Kong last year which is capable to provide consultancy services for green bonds issuers.

The move comes after Hong Kong government said it expects to launch a HK$100 billion green bond issuance program, in a bid to establish the city as an international green finance hub.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said earlier that it hopes to lure international companies to launch bond issues in the city.

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