It has been a stellar year for emerging market credit, with most of the key benchmark indices outperforming and EM fundamentals broadly improving – while the global economy continues to heat up. But with QE – one of the main forces driving yield-hungry investors into EMs – winding down, a slew of EM elections on the horizon, and uncertainty over the direction of large developed economies like the US, what are the top trends likely to be seen in EM credit in 2018?
The City of Cape Town successfully placed ZAR1bn in new green bonds this Summer to fund a raft of sustainability initiatives in the city, proving once again that cities are a natural fit for sustainable finance instruments.
Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power placed a USD814mn bond with a 22-year maturity in the international markets in May, an impressive debut following a year of planning and structuring. The transaction allowed the company to diversify its investor base and extend its maturity profile.
Since 2012, Vigeo Eiris has provided almost 60 second party opinions on ESG transactions for a diversity of issuers and sectors – about 20% of the market’s supply as of 2016 – which gives the company a privileged position from which to observe the market, both developed and emerging. The company was the first opinion provider for a corporate ESG issuance, launched by Air Liquide, and has worked on a range of other landmark European ESG transactions including those launched by EDF, Unibail-Rodamco, the French government, and Iberdrola.
Mexican water products manufacturer Grupo Rotoplas saw tight pricing on the company’s – and the Latin American market’s – first sustainability bond to date, a very strong debut made more impressive by the fact that it was launched amidst one of the weakest primary markets Mexico has ever experienced.
Created to fund projects with positive environmental benefits, green bonds have become rapidly popular in Europe and Asia while gaining traction in the United States.
Azure Power’s recent USD500mn green bond due 2022 won accolades for being the first solar green bond, paving the way for a wealth of new issuance in the country. We speak with Inderpreet Wadhwa, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Azure Power about the issuance process, whether the costs of issuing outweigh the benefits, and how issuers can build being green into their corporate DNA.
Growing support for market-driven policies aimed at facilitating green issuance has created important wins for the sustainable finance segment, especially in emerging market countries like China, India, and Mexico. But with the bulk of those policies, at their core, fixated on determining what qualifies as ‘green’, key questions about industry standards – and the best approach to applying them – remain, while many continue seeking ways of incentivising the market.
Stock exchanges play a crucial role as an intermediary between investors and issuers, but their role in the sustainable finance market – as platform and infrastructure providers, as facilitators of cross-market standards development, and as educators bringing visibility to new asset classes – is so much wider than that. We speak with Robert Scharfe, CEO of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, a leader in sustainable finance with over half of the world’s green bonds listed on its exchange, on how to attract more investors and borrowers to the market.
MUFG has a wealth of expertise in energy and natural resource infrastructure finance, which lends itself quite nicely to understanding how to measure risk in areas ripe for green bonds and similar instruments, and the bank is of course very active in bringing borrowers into the green bond market. We speak with Geraint Thomas, Executive Director at MUFG and leader of the bank’s green capital markets activity to learn more about how EM issuers and investors are finding their way in the green bond market, and the development of new sustainable finance instruments.
- Africa Credit Markets Brief: June 29 – July 12
- CDL Breaks New Ground with Singapore’s First Green Bond
- CASE STUDY: India’s Rural Electrification Corporation Debuts a US$450mn Green Bond
- CASE STUDY: NBAD Blazes a Trail with First MENA Green Bond
- Putting Green Bonds on a Sustainable Path in Emerging Markets
11 Dec 2018