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ICBC announces closing of US$370 million equivalent green loan
London branch of Chinese bank closes its first green loan, for which BNP Paribas, HSBC, Bank of America and Standard Chartered acted as coordinators and lead arrangers
27 Sep 2019 | The Asset

ICBC has announced the closing of an inaugural green loan for ICBC, London Branch, following the appointment in June 2019 of BNP Paribas and HSBC as joint green coordinators, mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners (MLAB).

ICBC hosted the closing ceremony at SIBOS, the global financial services networking event organized by SWIFT. In addition to BNP Paribas and HSBC, Bank of America and Standard Chartered joined this club of loan MLAB. BNY Mellon acted as facility agent.

Closing the deal means ICBC is the first bank in EMEA to secure a green loan that complies with the Green Loan Principles. Both European and Asian Loan Market Associations jointly launched the Green Loan Principles in March 2018 to provide a high-level framework for the wholesale green loan market.

The loan will:

·         Be a dual currency term loan facility (US$ & British pound)

·         Enable ICBC to raise up to US$370 million equivalent

·         Be based on ICBC’s newly established Green Loan Framework. The facility also builds on an extension of ICBC’s pre-existing Green Bond Framework

·         Be used for green projects, in line with the Green Finance Framework, financed by ICBC, London Branch.

The loan complements ICBC’s existing extensive portfolio of sustainable financing initiatives. ICBC was the first commercial bank in China to join the UN Global Compact in 2012 and joined the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) in 2014. ICBC has green loan asset of 1237.7 billion yuan, equivalent of US$177 billion by the end of 2018, and cover most green loan categories including project finance in wind farm, solar farm and waste management.

ICBC London Branch issued its inaugural green bond of US$1.58 billion in June 2018 on behalf of ICBC Group. It is the largest ever green bond listed on London Stock Exchange. In March 2019, this bond received a Green Bond Pioneer Award (GBPA) for “Largest Emerging Market Certified Climate Bond” of 2018, awarded by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).

“ICBC London Branch has a fast green loan asset growth in last several years and provide half a billion dollars in financing onshore and offshore wind farm in UK and Ireland, and this first green loan funding of ICBC is good timing for us to support more green project finance and contribute more to the renewable energy development and environment protection in UK and Ireland. We appreciate the great support from all the coordinators, lenders, agency bank and legal teams to make this deal successful,” says Ruixiang Han, general manager of ICBC London Branch.

José Placido, global head of Financial Institutions Coverage, BNP Paribas, says, “Banks can play a major role in the fight against climate change. Closing this loan reflects ICBC’s commitment to this transition. It represents the first Chinese bank to secure a green loan that complies with the green loan principles and underlines BNP Paribas’ leadership in structuring landmark sustainable finance solutions for financial institutions across the globe.”

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