China ESG - Weekly News: Growing ESG Commitment in Asian Market

Investors urge uniformity for China, HK green bond rules

A new industry guideline that could lead to the standardisation of China and Hong Kong green bond investment is likely to drive larger issuance sizes and also attract foreign investors currently skeptical about China’s ESG commitment, industry experts say.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a guideline on May 4 that provides subsidies for eligible bond issuers and loan borrowers to cover their expenses on bond issuance and external review services. Called the Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme, it will be effective from May 10 and lasts for three years.

Source: Asian Investor

BlackRock, Vanguard, SSGA ramp up shareholder participation in Asia

U.S. fund giants BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors have all been more active in exercising their shareholder rights in Asian markets and in South Korea particularly, as the spotlight on environmental, social and governance issues intensifies.

The three global asset managers have been busier than ever intervening in the corporate governance of their investee companies locally in South Korea and globally, The Korea Herald reports, citing a report by the Federation of Korean Industries.

Collectively, the three global fund firms exercised their rights as shareholders more than 3,000 times from July 2019 to June 2020, an increase of 48.4% from the prior year.

Source: Ignites Asia

UN PRI urges Japanese pension funds to step up ESG commitment

The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment has called for Japanese pension funds to step up their commitment to sustainable investing in order to encourage asset managers in the country to follow suit.

Michiyo Morisama, PRI’s Japan head, is urging domestic public pension funds to commit more to environmental, social and governance investing in hopes to spur a wider industry transition to sustainable investing in Japan, which has lagged behind many of its global peers, Bloomberg reports.

There are only 92 signatories to the PRI in Japan, which pales in comparison to other countries like the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, France and Scandinavia. Globally, PRI has about 4,000 signatories, representing about US$100 trillion in total assets.

Source: Ignites Asia

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