The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), priced its first ever green bond denominated in Hong Kong dollars (HKD) and the first green bond ever issued by a supranational issuer in Hong Kong SAR, China. HSBC Bank plc and Société Générale were the lead managers for this green bond transaction.

“We are extremely pleased to issue our first Hong Kong dollars green bond. The bond was issued based on demand from domestic investors interested in investing in the World Bank’s first green Hong Kong dollar (HKD) denominated bond.  HKD is the 19th currency for World Bank green bonds. This transaction also shows that demand for green bonds continues to grow, especially for safe and liquid instruments, from a broadening investor base. Investors, indeed, desire to connect their investments to development solutions that address climate change and make a difference for people around the globe,” said Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.

With this latest transaction, the World Bank has issued more than 135 green bonds in 19 currencies, totaling almost US$10.5bn equivalent since its inaugural issue in 2008. World Bank Green Bonds offer investors an opportunity to support environmental solutions through a bond product that benefits from the triple-A credit strength of the World Bank. World Bank Green Bonds help support the financing of projects in member countries that meet specific criteria for low carbon and climate resilient growth, seeking to mitigate climate change or help affected people adapt to it. The types of eligible projects include renewable energy installations, energy efficiency projects, and new technologies in waste management and agriculture that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help finance the transition to a low carbon economy. They also include financing for forest and watershed management and infrastructure to prevent climate-related flood damage and build climate resilience.

“Congratulations to the World Bank for printing this landmark HKD 1bn 2-year green bond transaction. Asia has been one of the driving forces behind green bond issuance in recent years and we are delighted that the Hong Kong Dollar market has displayed its appetite for the product from a high-grade issuer such as the World Bank. HSBC was delighted to have arranged this transaction,” said Jean-Marc Mercier, Global Co-Head of Debt Capital Markets at HSBC

“Société Générale is very proud to have joint-lead-managed World Bank’s inaugural syndicated HKD-denominated green bond. This transaction not only reinforces World Bank’s already strong footprint in the sustainability bond market, but thanks to this new currency added to World Bank’s green and sustainability bond offerings, also gives an additional investor base the opportunity to make a climate-positive investment on one of the world’s highest quality signatures,” said Stéphane Marciel, Head of Sustainable Bonds, Debt Capital Markets.