HSBC nearly doubles Greater Bay Area sustainability fund to US$9 billion, after response ‘exceeds expectations’

The HSBC GBA Sustainability Fund, which aims to support companies in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in lowering their carbon emissions, has been increased from an initial US$5 billion to US$9 billion.
The debt finance scheme has been well received since its launch in May 2022, and now the bank plans to double the fund size, strengthening it beyond banking support to help businesses meet their net-zero goals, HSBC said in a statement on Wednesday.
The GBA’s green and sustainable debt market continues to expand, with green and sustainable loan issuances in Hong Kong amounting to US$52.7 billion last year, a more than 100 per cent increase compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the green loan balance of Guangdong province reached 2.2 trillion yuan (US$302.2 billion) in 2022, indicating an annual growth of 53.3 per cent.

“The green transformation of the GBA is going to require massive capital investment,” said Frank Fang, general manager and head of commercial banking at HSBC Hong Kong and Macau. “The customer response to the HSBC GBA Sustainability Fund has far exceeded our expectations.”

GBA-based companies engaged in activities that lower carbon emissions are welcome to apply to the fund. The scheme will provide a range of sustainable finance options to applicants, including green loans and sustainability-linked loans, according to a HSBC statement in May 2022. This includes sectors such as climate-change adaptation, pollution prevention, waste-water management, clean transport, renewable energy, sustainable water resources and others, the bank said.

Through the fund, HSBC recently provided a HK$100 million loan to Chevalier Group for the construction of the first co-living housing in Shau Kei Wan, which will offer one-stop accommodation and support for out-of-home youths and people in recovery.

This is the first time the bank has arranged a green and social loan, whose proceeds are being utilised for projects that directly contribute to positive environmental and social outcomes. The project meets both the bank’s green loan principles and social loan principles.

“The Chevalier Group is committed to sustainable development across its diverse business operations,” said Kuok Hoi-sang, the company’s chairman and managing director. “We are honoured to contribute our part for a sustainable future.”

A climate technology company that focuses on reducing carbon emissions from the construction industry through innovative power solutions has also received a green loan under the fund.

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