Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

French group to sell NT dollar green bonds

FOREIGN BANK FIRST:The FSC said that all funds raised by Societe Generale’s green bond sale would be invested in major renewable energy projects in Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA

Societe Generale SA, a French-based banking group, has secured approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to issue New Taiwan dollar-denominated “green” bonds in Taiwan.

The nation’s top financial regulator said Societe Generale is expected to issue NT$15.6 billion (US$521.9 million) in green bonds, making it the first foreign bank to sell NT dollar-denominated green bonds in the nation.

The commission said no details were immediately available about the bond sale’s financial terms.

Approval came after the regulator in April eased rules to allow branches of foreign banks operating in Taiwan to issue NT dollar-denominated green bonds in the nation in a bid to boost investments in local renewable energy source development.

The green bond initiative, promoted by the local capital market, aims to show corporate responsibility in terms of environmental protection, with the proceeds funding environmentally friendly projects.

In the past, foreign banks could only issue foreign currency-denominated green bonds in Taiwan, and the proceeds could be used for eco-friendly investments in the nation or overseas.

All funds raised by Societe Generale’s green bond sale would be invested in related major infrastructure projects in Taiwan — offshore and onshore wind power development, solar energy development and other renewable energy plans, the commission said.

French-based Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea have sold US$145 million and US$400 million of green bonds in Taiwan respectively.

Since the first four tranches of green bonds were listed on the local over-the-counter (OTC) market on the same day in mid-May last year, a total of 16 tranches worth NT$41.8 billion have been issued by 13 local and foreign enterprises, including the two foreign banks, and traded on the OTC market, the Taipei Exchange said.

The Taipei Exchange, which runs the local OTC market, said it is aware that Societe Generale would soon file an application for the green bond sale on the OTC market.

Other than Societe Generale, the commission said no other foreign banks are seeking to issue NT dollar-denominated green bonds in Taiwan.

The local banks that have sold green bonds on the OTC market include Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行), Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行), Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀), Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), CTBC Bank (中國信託銀行) and KGI Bank (凱基銀行), the Taipei Exchange said.

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