Singapore doubles down on green finance initiatives

Written by kapronasia || June 19 2024

Singapore has become one of Asia’s most important green finance centers, which is well exemplified by its third sale of green bonds in late May. The S$6 billion order book for the city-state’s third sale of green bonds was 2.45 times the amount offered to institutional investors. In addition, the offering of S$2.5 billion in bonds reached the maximum of the S$2.1 billion to S$2.5 billion range provided by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The Singapore government has said there there is a pipeline of up to S$35 billion in sovereign and public-sector green bonds that will be issued by 2030.

Another key part of Singapore’s sustainable finance efforts involves cooperation with China. To that end, in May, the central banks of the two countries discussed the alignment of taxonomies, facilitation of green finance flows and development of a decarbonization rating platform, at the second China-Singapore Green Finance Taskforce (GFTF). The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and People’s Bank of China (PBOC) agreed to complete the mapping of the Singapore Asia Taxonomy to the Common Ground Taxonomy (CGT) of the International Platform on Sustainable Finance by the end of 2024.

This cooperation is expected to facilitate the cross-border issuance by Singaporean and Chinese corporates of CGT-aligned green financing bonds and loans originated by financial institutions from the two countries. A key focus of the two countries is encouraging so-called “green panda bond issuances” given demand from Singaporean issuers to raise capital in China’s onshore bond market. Panda bonds refer to renminbi-denominated debt issued in China’s onshore market by non-Chinese companies, governments and organizations.

At the meeting of MAS and the PBOC, the two sides also discussed the Greenprint data platform launched in November 2023. According to MAS, Project Greenprint is a collection of initiatives that aims to capitalize on technology and create a data-centric ecosystem to support the financial sector’s sustainability agenda. It aims to develop a strong ESG fintech ecosystem.

The original Project Greenprint was launched by MAS in December 2020 as a baseline for how companies report ESG data. It is now being co-led by Greenprint Techologies and supported by HSBC, KPMG, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Microsoft.

“Data collection processes are manual and tedious, verification is costly, and the ESG reporting landscape is fragmented,” then MAS chief Ravi Menon said at the Singapore Fintech Festival in Nov. 2023. “Project Greenprint sought to bridge these gaps by piloting digital utilities to streamline the collection, access and use of ESG data.”