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Alternative Market Briefing

Europe's green-bond issuance flourish

Monday, April 01, 2019

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Sovereigns in Europe are increasing their issuance of green bonds to tackle climate change and facilitate finance for sustainable growth and investment.

Three new entrants in 2018, and another expected soon in 2019, will take the number of European sovereigns issuing green bonds to six, according to DBRS, a global credit rating agency.

Although still modest in scale, sovereign green bonds are meeting a growing demand from investors with an environmental mandate and a long-term investment horizon, thus helping to deepen the market for "green" finance.

In addition to helping deepen the market for sustainable finance and supporting the achievement of climate goals, sovereign green bonds can help governments diversify their investor base and lengthen debt maturity profiles, in DBRS's view.

Key highlights

The Netherlands plans to issue its first sovereign green bond in May 2019. It follows Belgium, Lithuania and Ireland, which issued sovereign green bonds in 2018. France and Poland have been in the sovereign green bond market, since 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Looking at the green bond market worldwide in 2018, including all issuer types, the United States led the market followed by China, according to Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).

But, six European countries took the next places in the ranking: France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Spain. Of the top 15 green bond markets, ten are European countrie......................

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