First Green Bond in Hong Kong to Obtain Green Finance Certification from Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA)
Swire Properties is pleased to announce that it has successfully priced its first green bond, raising US$500 million at a coupon rate of 3.5%, due 2028. A substantial portion of the bond was placed with institutional investors that have a strong commitment to green bond investment or broader sustainable financing initiatives. The issuance of the 10-year green bond is part of the Company’s Sustainable Development (SD) 2030 Strategy, and aims to further enhance Swire Properties’ environmental performance and promote green financing in Hong Kong.
“The issuance of Swire Properties’ first green bond reaffirms our ongoing commitment to sustainable development, and designing and developing green projects around the world that improve the well-being of occupants and local communities,” said Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties.
“Part of our SD 2030 Strategy, this new initiative will enhance the long-term value of our portfolios. We fully support the Government’s efforts to grow Hong Kong’s green capital market, and are delighted that our green bond is the first in Hong Kong to receive the HKQAA Green Finance Certification, which is a strong recognition of our efforts in promoting environmentally-friendly investment in the city. Looking at the big picture, we hope to help drive global investment in green projects in Hong Kong, Asia and beyond."
The net proceeds from the green bond will be used to fund or refinance the Company’s new or existing green projects that relate to green building development, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable water and wastewater management, or climate change adaptation.
Part of the proceeds will be used to finance the Company’s newest, Grade-A office development, One Taikoo Place, a core component of its HK$15 billion Taikoo Place redevelopment project. Slated for completion in 2018, One Taikoo Place has achieved Pre-certified Platinum for LEED BD+C: Core and Shell Version 2009, and Provisional Platinum for BEAM Plus New Buildings Version 1.2 green building standards. Information on how net proceeds are allocated will be available on the Company’s corporate website.
The 10-year green bond will be issued under the Company’s US$4,000,000,000 Medium Term Note Programme, and is expected to be rated A2 by Moody’s and A by Fitch. Swire Properties’ green bond is the first in Hong Kong to obtain pre-issuance stage certification under the newly launched Green Finance Certification Scheme by the HKQAA, through its independent assessment process.
“HKQAA’s Green Finance Certification Scheme enables companies to demonstrate their commitments to promoting environmentally-friendly investment and sustainable development in Hong Kong. I am delighted to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Swire Properties for their efforts in obtaining the Pre-issuance Stage Certificate under the Scheme,” said Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok, Chairman of the HKQAA.
Swire Properties’ green bond framework was also reviewed by Sustainalytics, an independent environmental, social and governance research, ratings and analysis firm. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC acted as the joint green structuring advisors, joint bookrunners and lead managers for the green bond issuance.
Sustainable development is central to Swire Properties’ business philosophy, and the Company is dedicated to developing green, sustainable projects that are energy efficient. To achieve its vision of becoming the leading SD performer in the real estate industry globally by 2030, progressive targets have been set – as part of Swire Properties’ SD 2030 Strategy – in terms of green building development, energy and water efficiency improvement, renewable energy application, climate change adaptation and waste reduction.