Business / Markets

China's first green bond A-rated by Fitch

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-24 14:55

BEIJING - The Chinese mainland's first green bond, issued by Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and listed on the London Stock Exchange, was assigned a long-term A ratings by Fitch, the rating agency on Friday.

The $1 billion equivalent climate bond is the first green bond issued by a Chinese mainland financial institution and the first green bond denominated in renminbi issued by an Asian issuer.

A green bond is an innovative financing method used around the world, directing financial resources to environmental protection. The proceeds from the bonds will be used by ABC for lending to support environmental protection, energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction, and to fund eligible green projects. The proceeds may be invested in China or overseas. Failure to comply with the use of proceeds' obligations will not constitute a default event, Fitch said.

The green bonds represent direct, unconditional, unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the bank, and are rated in line with ABC's long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of "A", Fitch said in a statement.

The bank's IDRs are in turn based on an extremely high probability of support, if required, from the Chinese government in the event of stress, it said.

ABC has established a list of eligible green projects, and has so far evaluated and approved around 40 of such projects with total loan amount of about 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion).

Total green loans issued by ABC amounted to 472.4 billion yuan and made up 5.8 percent of total loans as of Dec. 31 of 2014.

ABC, one of China's big-four banks, is one of the first standing members of the green finance committee of China society for finance and banking.

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