Sustainable and Responsible Capital Markets 2014

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  • Companies, banks highlight hidden value, prepare green bonds for climate mission

    A year ago there had been virtually no corporate green bonds. After several eye-catching deals, the product is now on the radar of many treasurers at blue chip companies in a wide range of sectors, and at banks.

  • Corporates take up the green bond baton

    This time last year, no corporate green bonds had been issued, and only one corporate SRI bond. Since then, a dozen companies have issued them, mostly in Europe. The flow of corporate green bonds has resembled a stream rather than a torrent, but as the product edges towards maturity, more and more companies are expected to join the ranks of green bond issuers. Richard Metcalf reports.

  • Projects and pricing: issuers and investors debate the future of Asian SRI

    Japan has played an important part in green finance, with its retail investors enthusiastic buyers of themed Uridashi bonds. But the institutional investor base there and in the broader Asian region has been slower to build.

  • Economic powerhouse could one day lead in ethical issuance

    The market for bond issues tailored to the specific needs of socially responsible investors has hit its stride since 2013. What had been a niche product for specialist investors suddenly became mainstream. However, banks — so often at the forefront of innovation — have so far been behind the curve. That looks like it’s about to change, as Nathan Collins finds out.

  • SRI bonds — forerunners of the new green generation

    Green bond issuance is accelerating and many market participants believe that 2014 is the year that the asset class will reach maturity. Not if maturity means it has all become plain sailing and uncontroversial. Market participants still have plenty of issues to debate. How much standardisation does the market need? Should the rating agencies move in? How should deals be priced? What is the value of third party analysis? And are issuers really gaining new investors?

  • Bold munis make long green strides, but most are far behind

    Cities and municipalities should be one of the most exciting areas of sustainable and responsible capital markets, but origination bankers have their work cut out if they want any but the most obvious candidates to come forward. Tessa Wilkie reports.

  • Public sector borrowers define the environment — and beyond

    Supranational borrowers gave birth to the sustainable bond market, but as it reaches adolescence supras risk being overshadowed by corporate borrowers printing big deals and stealing all the glory.

  • SSAs take pioneering spirit to new frontiers

    Supranational and agency borrowers have been the most important drivers of the green bond movement. Fostering that market until it reaches maturity is still a big part of their plans, but as Jonathan Breen reports, many issuers are also making big efforts to bring bonds focused on social and educational issues to the mainstream.

  • Green bonds hit the big time

    If 2013 was the breakthrough year for green bonds, then 2014 is very much when they are becoming part of the mainstream. Volume is already more than double 2013’s figure, while new borrowers are joining the market and ever more sophisticated approaches are being taken to issuance. Craig McGlashan reports.

  • Bond investors get serious on ESG — and issuers respond

    Five years ago, if you asked a bond fund manager about ethical investing, the answer might have been ‘oh, that’s for the equity people’. You would not hear that today. Market forums on integrating environmental, social and governance analysis into bond investing are proliferating. As Craig McGlashan reports, it is leading to a much richer dialogue between investors and issuers — and to the growth of a whole new bond market.

  • What is a green bond? And who should decide?

    Green bond is a label that issuers attach to their deals. No one says who may use it, or on what kind of bond. But participants in the market have already evolved a set of conventions to guide its use. Exactly what counts as green, however, remains undefined. As Jon Hay reports, this is a hot topic of debate that will shape how the market evolves.

  • The last chance saloon

    Paris, December 2015. That is widely seen as the world’s last chance to save itself from devastating climate change. People all over the world can already feel its effects, and the prognosis is terrible. But as Jon Hay reports, the energy and creativity being deployed to fight climate change are immense, and encouraging. Nations must reach a deal — but there is plenty for everyone to be doing in the mean time.

  • Have we reached the tipping point?

    by Heike Reichelt, head of investor relations and new products, The World Bank

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