First Filipino Green Bond Attracts Investment from World Bank Member
The first green bond launched by a commercial bank in the Philippines has attracted a $150 million (~₹9.65 trillion) investment from a World Bank Group member. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) made the investment in a green bond issued by BDO Unibank Inc, the largest bank in the Philippines, to help expand financing for private sector investments that address climate change.
The issuance of the green bond is a culmination of an advisory engagement on sustainable energy finance between IFC and BDO that started in 2010. The financing is expected to help save 93,000 tons C02 emissions per year by 2022.
Nestor V. Tan, president and chief executive officer of BDO, said the investment aligns with the bank’s goal of growing its climate business and ultimately fostering the growth of the nascent climate finance market in the Philippines.
“Climate change is a very real concern in the Philippines. It is one of the most vulnerable countries globally to the impacts of such change. This bond demonstrates our corporate commitment to come up with business solutions to address the challenges of sustainability,” Tan said.
Vivek Pathak, IFC director for East Asia and the Pacific, said, “The issuance is an example of BDO’s leadership in developing climate finance in the country. By building on our long-term partnership with BDO, we aim to create a vibrant green bond market in the country and stimulate private sector investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Pathak added, “Further, by setting the standard and the benchmark for green bonds issued in accordance with the Green Bond Principles which IFC helped develop, we hope to pave the way for other issuers and investors to access financing through this product, at a time when demand for green infrastructure and other sustainable investments is high.”
The green bond will provide an alternative source of long-term green financing and contribute to the Philippines’ target of reducing carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 relative to its business as usual scenario and conditioned on international support.
IFC is invested in reducing carbon emissions. So far, in the last quarter of 2017, an IFC-led consortium of investors has finalized a $653 million (~₹42.01 trillion) debt package to finance the construction of 13 solar power projects in Egypt. It has also agreed to invest $15 million (~₹964.52 million) in the Indian rooftop solar developer CleanMax Solar.
Wendy is a co-founder of Mercom Capital Group, the parent company of Mercom India. Wendy is a contributing editor at MercomIndia.com and is responsible for content quality across the company and products. She has over 15 years of business and finance experience in the energy and technology markets. In addition to Mercom, Wendy has written for many other clean energy-focused blogs and publications. More articles from Wendy Prabhu.