Green bonds bloom, but lower prices yet to sprout

Asia’s green bond market exploded in 2016. But whether the market can add cheaper costs to a list of other advantages remains to be seen.

Sitting in the Kowloon Bay headquarters of Hong Kong metro operator MTR Corp, finance director Herbert Hui appeared satisfied. He had joined the company only a few months before, and had already pulled off MTR’s first dollar bond in four years.

But perhaps more importantly, he had ensured MTR Corp would be part of a growing conversation among global debt investors.

That’s because Hui had decided the company was not going to simply issue a conventional bond. Instead, he opted for a green bond joining a movement towards environmentally-conscious financing that took on a life of its own in Asia in 2016.

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