Best green credit rating agency 2018
Beijing-headquartered China Lianhe Credit Rating (or Lianhe Ratings) is one of the market leaders in setting the criteria and standards for China’s green finance industry. As a council member of the Green Finance Committee affiliated to the People’s Bank of China, Lianhe Ratings has promoted the development of the green bond market in China.
From April 2017 to March 2018, Lianhe Ratings provided ratings for 28 green bonds from 17 issuers with a total offering size of Rmb56 billion ($8.7 billion), accounting for roughly a third of the proceeds raised through green bonds during the period.
Facing the rapid development of China’s green bond market, Lianhe Ratings published its ‘Green bond credit rating methodology’ to enhance market transparency and ensure open access for all agencies involved in credit risk analysis.
The company has rated a number of high-profile green bonds, including the 2017 Yunnan water green bond, which raised Rmb550 million for Yunnan Water Investment last year. After a thorough analysis, Lianhe Ratings rated the 10-year bond AA+; the bond was successfully placed at a coupon rate of 6.3%. Yunnan Water used roughly 68% of the proceeds for two environmental protection projects and the rest for replenishing working capital.
With a team of about 300 staff (more than half of these are analysts), Lianhe Ratings is well positioned to cover the ratings of many of China’s future green bond issuers.
“Most of our analysts have master’s or doctorate degrees,” notes managing director Wang Shaobo, adding that the company has worked with more than 2,000 issuers and rated more than 10,000 bonds of all kinds since it was founded in 2000.