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Green bond issues in PH, Asia gaining acceptance

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the green and sustainability debt markets in the Philippines and other countries in Asia continue to develop given the establishment of a clear set of guidelines.

SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong said in a speech during the ASEAN+3 Bond Market Forum Meeting at the Asian Development Bank headquarters in Manila said issuances of bonds worth over $3.8 billion under the ASEAN Green and Sustainability Bond Standards in 2019 were a positive indication of the market’s development.

Last year’s issuances amounted six times more than $639 million issued in 2018, when the value increased by over 50 percent from 2017.

Sustainability bonds accounted for $1.4 billion or 36 percent of last year’s total, up 14 times from just $100 million in 2018.

“While ASEAN may still be a relatively small player in the global Green/Sustainability debt market—with $330 billion raised in 2019—the rate of growth in ASEAN appears to show the necessary foundations for the development of such a Green/Sustainability debt market have indeed been laid, including the issuance of a clear set of guidelines for issuers to follow and which investors, both international and domestic, recognize as holistic and reliable,” Amatong said.

The Philippines recorded 15 issuances worth $3.04 billion from a range of private sector issuers, including renewable energy companies and banks taking advantage of both on and offshore markets.

Amatong noted that Philippine banks had notable success in green bond issuances.

Among them is Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., which issued two sustainability bonds and one green bond totaling $742 million, with $442 million denominated in peso.

Bank of the Philippine Islands also issued green bonds under the ASEAN Standards to raise $300 million and CHF100 million, with the latter transaction achieving a negative yield.

Most recently, state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines entered the domestic sustainability market, raising $352 million from the issuance of peso-denominated green bonds in late 2019.

Out of the 15 issuers, seven received some form of support from multilateral development finance institutions, namely the ADB and International Finance Corp.

Topics: Securities and Exchange Commission , Ephyro Luis Amatong , ASEAN Green and Sustainability Bond Standards
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