Hong Kong edges ahead in green finance race

As global green bonds issuance hits record heights, Asia's financial centres are competing to be at the cutting edge. A push for standardisation may give Hong Kong the edge.

For investors and issuers, the pressure to live up to “being green”is coming from all sides regulators, customers and the public at large are all keen to see businesses burnish their green credentials.

One obvious way of doing so is to access the burgeoning green bond market. In 2017, global issuance of green bonds smashed through the $100 million barrier for the first time, reaching $157 billion, a January report from the Climate Bonds Initiative states.

But problems remain. A lack of standardisation and taxonomies of what is actually green has caused confusion amongst investors and issuers. There are now three main...

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