香港地球之友綠色金融顧問 Mostafa Monira Firdouse / Mostafa Monira Firdouse, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)
As we all know, Hong Kong government plans to issue up to HK$100 billion worth of green bonds to fund “green public work” projects. Under this initiative, government plans to launch HK$2.5 million as a pilot bond grant scheme to develop the green bond market.
To support this green financing initiative, HKMA will set up a Centre for Green Finance (CGF) under the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office as a capacity building and experience sharing platform and will focus on green development of local banking and finance industry. CGF will work closely with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to build awareness raising and knowledge sharing.
According to a survey conducted by the HKMA, Hong Kong banks have acquired HK$20 billion of green loans and HK$40 billion of green bonds. About 60 percent of the respondents said they planned to develop green and sustainable banking businesses.
“The three-phase regulatory approach provides a clear roadmap and a comprehensive strategy to enhance Hong Kong’s position as a leading international green finance hub in Asia,” said HSBC’s former Greater China Chief Executive Helen Wong Pik-kuen in May 2019. She revealed that HSBC has so far invested 30 percent of its capital in sustainable investments and expects US$100 billion in such investments to have been made by 2025.
Gao Yingxin — vice-chairman and chief executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) — said promoting green finance is one of the important businesses of the Chinese mainland banking group. He expects banks to charge lower interest rates for green loans, while the financial market can provide higher coupon rates for green bond investors. https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/185/76/81/1557238115020.html
As we see, banks are taking many initiatives to grab green finance market. And the question comes, how much HKMA is ready to monitor green bonds?
What is the monitoring framework?
What are the materials will be counted as evidence?
Any horizontal and vertical correlation with SDG and, or, with responsible financing?
Besides, what type of portfolio should be counted as green financing? Like; is that only new portfolio to be considered as green investing? Or, it will also focus on divesting in the bad industries and green washing for existing industries?