Taiwan’s ASE issues Asia’s first corporate green bond – $300m, BBB, 6yrs – and it’s SIX times oversubscribed!! Asian green bonds may be about to blast off.

I’m in Cambodia, visiting the amazing Ankgor Wat, ancient religious centre of a city that apparently had a population of half a million people(link is external) in 1200 AD.  The temple’s bas-reliefs(link is external) are full of triumphal armies, marching through exquisite carvings of trees and forests. They liked their green.

We haven’t yet seen a lot of green bond action in Asia – just Kexim a year ago – but things may be about to change.

First, Reuters reports(link is external) that Asian investors bought a fifth of KfW’s recent EUR 1.5bn bond.

Now Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering(link is external) (ASE) has issued Asia’s first corporate green bond(link is external) – BBB, $300 million, 6 years –  and it was SIX times oversubscribed!  Yes, six times. I guess that’s “investor interest”.

ASE is an integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider.  Proceeds of the bond will go to financing(link is external) the “Company’s transition to low-carbon and climate resilient growth”. By that they mean green building construction, installation of waste water recycling facilities, waste water management and manufacturing energy efficiency.

CICERO(link is external) reviewed the company’s spending plans and will also monitor use of proceeds. (As you know we love CICERO’s work, although we do wish they could get their clients to always release their reports). ASE will issue an annual investor letter about the use of proceeds.

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