The influence of sustainability related topics on corporations and financial markets is growing steadily. Investors, especially those with a need for stable, long-term returns are constantly raising the bar in demanding not only profitable, but also sustainable investments. This creates challenges for financial industry professionals, on the buy-side as well as the sell-side, as they are having to integrate a host of ESG factors into their strategies, policies, and investment offerings.
Our services in sustainable finance range from general advisory and the development of responsible investment policies to the verification of green bond frameworks and the provision of second opinions according to the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) Green Bond Principles.
We provide training and tailored advisory services on sustainability topics and how they relate to the financial industry. Examples include advising corporations on how to consider sustainability factors when formulating the company’s financial strategy and policy, integrating sustainability into risk management, and how to realise opportunities unique to sustainability (such as through the issuance of Green Bonds, please see below).
We also provide advice on how to maximise the value of your company’s sustainability strategy by improving your ranking with leading sustainability analytics and ratings agencies, such as GRESB, Sustainalytics, MSCI, Thomson Reuters or Bloomberg.
If you have any questions on how sustainability is going to affect you finanacially, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Responsible Investment Policies
We assist asset managers and corporations with signifianct investment portfolios such as diversified investment holding companies, insurers or real estate firms in the development of responsible investment policies and the integration of these policies into their existing operational and risk management frameworks.
We provide advisory, verification and reporting services around the issuance of Green, Social, and Sustainability Bonds, as defined in the leading global frameworks for these bonds, issued by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).
Compared to regular corporate bonds, Sustainability Bonds come with additional reporting and verification requirements. Our strong, 15-year track record in sustainability reporting allows us to draw on our wealth of experience in corporate sustainability when advising clients on the development of their green financing frameworks or providing second opinions on their Green or Social Bonds.
Specifically, we offer the following services:
- Review and independent, robustly researched evaluations of clients’ sustainable (‘green’ or ‘social’) bond frameworks.
- Assessment to confirm compliance with ICMA Principles and provision of due diligence.
- Verification of Use of Proceeds as part of compliance with ICMA Principles.
- Production of assurance report (“second opinion”) for use with ratings agencies and fixed income investor marketing, e.g. for inclusion in bond offering circular (‘OC’) or release on the client’s website.
- Ongoing reporting, monitoring and assurance for the life of the Bond.
MAS Grant Scheme
- In order to support the growth of the green bond market and to establish Singapore as a regional hub for this important new asset class, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in June 2017 introduced the Green Bond Grant Scheme to help issuers offset the additional cost associated with Green Bonds.Under the Scheme, 100% of any costs incurred by an issuer in relation to the external reviewer’s provision of an independent assessment will be reimbursable, subject to a cap of S$100,000.Key criteria to be met in order to qualify for the grant include:
- Bond has to be issued in Singapore and listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX).
- Principal amount for each qualifying issue must be at least S$200m (or equivalent in foreign currency).
- Bond tenor of at least three years, non-redeemable during this three-year period.
- Must be a qualifying debt security (QDS) under Singapore’s Income Tax (Qualifying Debt Securities) Regulations (ITR).
- Lead manager is a Financial Sector Incentive (FSI) company in Singapore.
- More than half of the gross revenue earned for work undertaken in arranging the issuance of the bonds, must be attributable to an FSI.
- Independent external review or rating has to be undertaken based on internationally recognized green bond standards.
In order to be eligible for the grant, more than half of the expenditure for the external review or rating is attributable to Singapore-based service providers.
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