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ANZ green and sustainable financing poll: a new ESG norm

Investors and issuers across Asia Pacific are placing increasing emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their approach to strategy and funding.

The results of the 3rd annual green and sustainable finance poll conducted by ANZ and FinanceAsia in May 2020 show a sharper focus – and more appetite – than ever before in terms of green, social and sustainability (GSS) loan and bond issuance.

Key trends compiled from the responses of around 140 issuers and investors across Asia Pacific include:

  • Wider engagement of GSS issues compared with last year’s results, in terms of them being considered and integrated into the strategy
  • More internal ESG scoring systems than ever before among investors, coupled with a larger number of firms developing their own in-house research capability
  • A marked increase in the last 12 months in the focus on reporting of green loans and bonds – both of proceeds and impact
  • Growth in issuance of GSS instruments since 2019, with a further rise in interest in issuing them going forward
  • Time as a factor becoming a much greater hindrance for borrowers than in the past, while set-up costs are notably less concerning than previously

In short, these and other take-aways from the poll highlight the greater influence of ESG considerations within debt capital markets.

“Overall, the results of the poll show continued momentum for green bonds and loans,” says Katharine Tapley, head of sustainable finance at ANZ. “COVID-19 has accelerated interest in ESG factors, with the longer term and bigger picture focus of investors and issuers on environmental and social issues.”

To read more detailed insights on how the capabilities, strategy, preferences, requirements and plans in relation to GSS issuance are evolving for investors and issuers alike – click here.

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