ESG debt

Why issuers in Asia now need to take social bonds seriously

There are welcome signs the new asset class is finding its feet the region. After South Korea’s pioneering efforts, interest is now picking up in India and accelerating in Japan. However, not everyone is yet fully convinced of its virtues just yet.

They have not received anywhere near the same level of attention as green bonds, but social bonds are starting to gain traction in Asia and 2020 could be a breakout year.  

The signs are certainly encouraging if January is anything to go by. Last month saw a social bond from Shriram Transport Finance Company STFC, followed by a sustainable one from POSCO and finally a covered social bond by Korea Housing Finance Corp KHFC right at the end of the month. 

All three transactions demonstrated, in different ways, how the ESG environmental, social, governance bond market is moving in welcome new directions.

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