Green Finance for Healthy Housing
HSBC recently supported Sino-Ocean Group Holding Limited ("Sino-Ocean") in issuing a US$400 million 5-year senior unsecured green bond with a coupon rate of 3.25%. This is the first green bond issued by an investment-grade Chinese property developer this year and the first-ever offshore green bond by Sino-Ocean. HSBC acted as the sole green structure advisor, global coordinator, joint underwriter, and joint bookrunner for the issue.
For this deal, HSBC actively assisted Sino-Ocean in establishing its Green Finance Framework and obtaining green certification from Sustainalytics, a world-renowned green rating agency, to align with the core components of the Green Bond Principles 2018 and the Green Loan Principles 2020. Proceeds from the issue will further help the company to promote the construction of "healthy buildings" and contribute to green and sustainable development of cities.
Featuring a combination of green technology, health and safety, “healthy building” is a novelty that prioritizes the health of its users, and is subject to higher standards of design and equipment than conventional buildings. According to the World Health Organization, "healthy building" not only rejects building materials that are harmful to human health and the environment, but also enables a healthy and comfortable living experience and better work performance for its occupants, making them feel well both physically and mentally. Six years ago, Sino-Ocean became a leader in introducing the WELL Building Standard, the world's first performance-based system for certifying features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing. The company has been exploring ways to improve the health performance of buildings through architectural design, construction and operation in order to promote the development of a healthy living environment.
Eddie Ching, Deputy CEO of HSBC China, said, "'Healthy Building' is all about the needs of human occupants in buildings and follows the 'people-centered’ principle of healthy living. Through the Sino-Ocean deal, we wish to take this green bond issuance as an opportunity to provide financial support for the low-carbon transformation of our corporate clients and make 'healthy building' accessible to a wider audience. Going forward, HSBC stands ready to work with our clients to continue to promote sustainable development and contribute to China’s targets of ‘emission peak’ and ‘carbon neutrality’."
Sino-Ocean's first green bond issue was well received by investors and drew strong support from international green investment institutions. The deal set two records: the lowest-ever issue yield for green bonds by Chinese property developers with the same tenor and the lowest-ever issue coupon rate for USD bonds by Sino-Ocean with the same tenor. These records have reflected investors' high approval of the company’s performance in ESG management and sustainable development.
HSBC has been actively supporting the needs of Chinese clients for financing low-carbon transformation and has supported a number of green and sustainability bond issues by Chinese issuers. HSBC is also a regular top underwriter of green, social and sustainability bonds in Asia Pacific. In addition, HSBC Group announced in October last year that it would help its clients achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and net zero emissions from its own operations and supply chain by 2030, in line with the targets set by states parties in the Paris Agreement.