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Top green bond seller in Korea plans debt boost abroad

Dec. 18, 2021 - 10:55 By Bloomberg
A visual concept image of a wind turbine reflected on a surface of a solar power panel (123rf)
South Korea is among the world’s biggest seller of green bonds, and one of its top issuers is planning to tap the global debt market more aggressively next year to provide sustainable funds to local companies operating abroad.

Export-Import Bank of Korea, the nation’s second-largest issuer of green notes, plans to sell about $12 billion to $12.5 billion of bonds offshore in 2022, compared with around $11 billion this year, said Lee Dong-hoon, the treasurer of the bank. It expects about 20% of the issuance to be ESG debt, he said.

“We’re seeing growing demand for loans from green sectors like solar energy and rechargeable battery makers,” Lee said in an interview in Seoul. “We need to raise funds to meet the demand.”

Issuers from Korea, Asia’s fourth biggest economy, have sold the most green bonds in the region after China this year, Bloomberg-compiled data show. President Moon Jae-in’s push to make the country carbon neutral by 2050 has boosted investment in ESG projects including those by electric vehicle battery makers such as LG Chem. and SK Innovation. (Bloomberg)