China's green bond guidelines buck global trend

Author: Danielle Myles | Published: 23 Oct 2015

Yesterday’s $1 billion green bond listing by Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) is an encouraging sign for the PRC government’s push into the budding asset class.

A number of national reforms are making country an unlikely leader in the global green bond movement.

ABC's is the first green bond from a Chinese bank and the first cross-border CNY issuance. The dual-currency notes were four times oversubscribed; the RMB portion was eight times oversubscribed.

While in the US and Europe green bonds have been market-led initiatives, China is taking a top-down approach. In April the State Council announced its intention to develop a green finance system, and the Green Finance Committee – a group of senior regulators and finance professionals – will soon issue green bond guidelines.   

"We want to promote the formation of international green bond market rules, such as definitions, so as to facilitate cross-border green investment,"...