Region’s central banks vow green bond investment push

CENTRAL banks in the region vowed to continue promoting green bond investments across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through the Asean Bond Fund.

In a statement on Monday, the Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (Emeap) said their project for green bond investments has been finalized.

Earlier this year, the Emeap ABF Oversight Committee had requested IHS Markit, the index administrator of the iBoxx ABF Index, to review the rules of the Index to promote the inclusion of green bonds.

On Monday, Emeap said the review has been completed and IHS Markit has decided to make adjustments to the index.

The adjustments include setting the definition of green bonds, setting a lower minimum outstanding notional threshold for subsovereign green bonds issued in different markets, and changing the subsovereign issuer limit to 10 percent per issuer in each single market index, from the current limit of 5 bonds per issuer.

The new rules will take effect from the index rebalance date of 31 March 2022.

“The Emeap believes this initiative will help catalyze further deepening of local currency-denominated bond markets, in particular green bond markets in the region. The Emeap will continue to explore ways to further contribute to the development of the local currency denominated bond market,” Emeap said in a statement.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) earlier said its investment on green financing could double in the next two years, its chief said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday.

The BSP governor said they remain committed to expanding their reach in sustainable financing in the country, both by increasing awareness and potentially upping their own investments to so-called “green bonds”.

At present, the BSP has a total of $550 million worth of investments in the Bank for International Settlements’ green bond fund.

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