China Surrenders Sustainable Debt Leadership in Asia

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • China’s annualized share of debt is down 50% from 2016
  • Korea and Indonesia among fastest growing green debt markets

Mainland China’s share of Asian sustainable finance is declining as other countries scale market activity in the region.

In 2016, Chinese issuance of sustainable debt was 83% of the Asian market, but it dropped to less than 30% in 1H 2019.

Among those seizing a bigger slice of the pie was Hong Kong, which ramped up green bond volumes as the government attempts to finance a bold pledge to reduce the region’s carbon intensity by 2030. South Korea and Indonesia also made recent headlines for notable green issuance.

In South Korea, Hyundai Motor Group’s Capital Services division issued a green bond for more than $250 million, while Indonesia now boasts $3.17 billion of sovereign green debt. While China remains the dominant player, new opportunities in other Asian countries speak to the global demand for sustainable debt.

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