How green loans could compete with green bonds

Olam International organised Asia’s first green “club-loan” in April. But why would an issuer choose a loan over the increasingly mainstream green bond?

Finding innovative ways to finance its agribusiness, Singapore-based Olam International secured a pioneering $500 million three-year, sustainability-linked revolving credit facility in March.

Grouping 15 banks together in a “club” arrangement under the watchful eye of ING as the “sustainability coordinator”, it was the first of its kind in Asia.

Since then, Singapore and Hong Kong have seen two more loans classified as green totalling $1.52 billion, data from Dealogic shows, highlighting the first green shoots of an emerging new trend. 

Whilst more common in Europe, Olam corralled the 15 banks at its own behest after deciding that a loan...
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