Bank of China raises $3bn in green bonds for clean energy

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The green bonds — which included tranches of $2.25 billion and €500m ($553.6m), in addition to an overseas issuance of 1.5 billion yuan ($224.3m) — underscores the growing importance of debt in financing critical environmental initiatives in heavily polluted Asian countries such as China and India.

Bank of China will also use the net proceeds of the issuance — the world’s biggest such transaction ever and the first to be conducted in three different currencies — to provide financing for wind and biomass projects throughout the world.

In addition, the proceeds will be used fund the development of pollution prevention initiatives, as well as clean transportation projects and wastewater treatment facilities, according to a statement on the bank’s website.

Demand for the two-year, three-year and five-year bonds was exceptionally high, with total orders reportedly approaching the range of $8bn.

The transaction highlights how banks in China are starting to provide funds for domestic environmental projects, as billions of dollars will be needed to tackle pollution-related issues under the government’s 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).

Although Beijing only launched its green bond program last year, the People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank, said in March that the country aims to issue approximately 300bn yuan of green bonds by the end of 2016.