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Hong Kong’s Sustainable Debt Soars to $18.2 Billion in 2023, Becomes 5th Largest Worldwide

Hong Kong’s Sustainable Debt Soars to $18.2 Billion in 2023, Becomes 5th Largest Worldwide

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Hong Kong’s sustainable debt market has seen unprecedented growth, becoming a leader in Asia and entering the global top ten in green bond issuance. This growth is driven by substantial government issuance and the strategic role of Hong Kong in supporting global decarbonization efforts.

Key Impact Points:

  • 236% growth in sustainable debt market in 2023
  • Hong Kong’s green bonds rank in the global top ten for the first time
  • Government’s commitment to issuing up to HK$135 billion in bonds annually through 2028

Hong Kong’s sustainable debt market leads Asia, with 236% growth in 2023

Hong Kong’s sustainable debt market has achieved its largest growth yet, driven by government issuance, leading its peers in Asia and entering the global top ten jurisdictions in green bonds issuance for the first time, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative’s latest report.

Impressive Growth and Global Ranking

The Climate Bonds report, produced with HKMA and HKGFA, highlights that Hong Kong’s GSS+ debt reached USD18.2bn in 2023, a 236% YOY increase. Most of this debt (USD15.6bn) was green, with social and sustainability themes accumulating USD2.6bn. The HKSAR Government emerged as a major player, issuing 92% of the green bond volume.

Strategic Government Initiatives

Hong Kong is now one of the top ten green bond issuers in the world! This reflects the HKSAR government’s initiatives to support decarbonisation and to connect global capital to green investments in China. Bravo!” said Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative.

Future Ambitions and Goals

The HKSAR government aims to issue HK$95 billion to HK$135 billion worth of bonds annually through 2028, including green/sustainable bonds. This aligns with its climate goals of halving emissions by 2035 and achieving net zero by 2050.

Supporting Transition Finance

Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman of HKGFA, emphasized, “Transition finance is a significant trend in global sustainable finance development. Hong Kong can capture this opportunity by expanding its local CGT-compliant taxonomy to include transition activities, mitigating greenwashing and facilitating capital flows across jurisdictions.

Related Article: Hong Kong Launches Green Finance Taxonomy to Boost City’s Fundraising Credentials

Commitment to Sustainable Finance

Helen Hui of Standard Chartered remarked, “Standard Chartered is very pleased to continue supporting CBI on the Hong Kong Sustainable Debt Market report. We will help our clients pursue their sustainability goals and accelerate their transition to net zero, promoting Hong Kong as an international sustainable financing hub in Asia.

The full report is available for download on the Climate Bonds website.

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