Best green Chinese bank in overseas markets 2019
ICBC was not only the largest issuer of green bonds overseas among the Chinese banks last year, but also a clear leader in promoting the development of green finance outside China.
ICBC issued a total of $2.33 billion in green bonds in London and Hong Kong in 2018 to fund projects that are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious programme launched by the Chinese government to link Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks to boost trade and investment.
In June 2018, ICBC’s London branch placed $1.6 billion of green bonds on the London Stock Exchange – the largest ever green bond issue on the bourse.
A few days later, its Hong Kong subsidiary, ICBC (Asia), issued $730 million of green bonds on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It was the first green bond issuance there by a locally incorporated bank in Hong Kong.
Another big event for the bank last year was its decision to join international agencies and foreign institutions to advance green finance outside China. In April 2018, ICBC was the only Chinese bank out of 27 international firms selected by the United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) to draft ‘principles on responsible banks’ to promote sustainable finance globally. The principles are due to take effect in September.
ICBC collaborated with Oxford Economics last year to develop an index system to support its Green Investment Principles, which were drafted with the green finance committee of the People’s Bank of China and the City of London for China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This index system is due to come online in 2019.