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Green Finance / Treasury & Capital Markets
Hang Seng launches HK$80 billion green transition fund
Financing solutions aim to incentivize SMEs to actively reduce carbon emissions
The Asset 24 Jun 2024

Hang Seng Bank has announced a series of initiatives covering three major areas – capital financing, green assessment, and knowledge advocacy – to assist enterprises in their green transition.

In capital financing, the bank has launched an HK$80 billion (US$10.25 billion) fund to provide diversified green and sustainable financing solutions for businesses of different natures and scales. The Sustainability Power Up Fund aligns with the Green Loan Principles, Social Loan Principles, and Sustainability Linked Loan Principles. The fund covers green equipment financing, social loans, and sustainability-linked loans, aiming to encourage enterprises to actively reduce carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, Hang Seng has partnered with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) to launch the SME Green Equipment Financing Assessment Platform for the bank’s commercial customers. The platform significantly reduces the assessment fees for Green Equipment Financing by over 90% and simplifies the assessment process. This allows businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to enjoy faster and more affordable green assessment services.

To further incentivize carbon reduction for businesses, Hang Seng has introduced the Green and Sustainable Financing Assessment Subsidy Programme. Businesses that obtain qualified green and sustainable certifications from the HKQAA or other recognized external assessment agencies are eligible for cash rebates on assessment fees when financing with Hang Seng, with a maximum amount of HK$200,000. This programme is applicable to enterprises applying for loan amounts below HK$100 million.

To enhance enterprises’ awareness of sustainable development, the bank has established the Hang Seng Carbon Academy. The academy organizes industry experience-sharing sessions focusing on green transition, provides relevant professional training courses, and creates a platform for business exchanges to help improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

Regina Lee, head of commercial banking at Hang Seng Bank, says: "Hang Seng has been standing side by side with SMEs for many years, serving nearly one-fourth of Hong Kong's SMEs. Sustainable development has become a major trend in business operations, and various types of companies are facing increasingly stringent requirements for ESG or mandatory carbon emission disclosures.

“As the largest local bank, Hang Seng aims to leveraging our experience, expertise and network to launch a series of initiatives covering capital financing, green assessment, and knowledge advocacy. Our goal is to assist companies in moving towards a low-carbon economy, while promoting the development of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong."

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