Hongkong Land has continued to drive sustainable financing with the signing in June of S$910 million (US$688 million) of sustainability-linked loans. Including these transactions, Hongkong Land has executed sustainability-linked loans amounting to US$1.9 billion with lenders in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in the last 12 months.
The transactions are five-year revolving credit facilities signed bilaterally with DBS, MUFG, OCBC Bank, SMBC, and UOB which reference the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA).
Hongkong Land will be eligible to receive a tiered discount on the interest rate of the loans if it achieves agreed ESG targets. These targets include demonstrating continuous improvements in greenhouse gas emissions, electricity consumption, food waste, and solar energy generation, whilst maintaining green building certifications for the Group’s Central Portfolio in Hong Kong.
The proceeds of the loans will be used for general working capital and corporate funding purposes, and to fund ongoing green building initiatives.
Mr Robert Wong, Chief Executive of Hongkong Land, said, “We are pleased to continue the momentum of growing sustainable financing in the region which reflects our commitment to finding more sustainable ways to finance and operate our business. With the impending discontinuation of interest rate benchmark for Swap Offer Rate, we are also glad to partner with our long-term relationship banks to achieve a smooth and seamless transition to SORA.”
Mr Chew Chong Lim, Managing Director & Global Head of Real Estate, Institutional Banking, DBS, said, “With sustainability now a key focus for many corporate agendas, DBS has observed a growing interest amongst our clients in real estate sector for more sustainable financing instruments. Having partnered Hongkong Land on its first sustainability-linked loan in August last year, DBS is privileged to be able to continue supporting Hongkong Land as it moves ahead with its sustainability journey with today’s new SORA-linked deal. As a purpose-driven bank, DBS is committed to walking alongside forward-thinking companies such as Hongkong Land as they advance their ESG agendas and collectively work towards a lower-carbon future.”
Mr Colin Chen, Head of ESG Finance Asia Pacific, MUFG said, “MUFG is delighted to announce this first Singapore Dollar, sustainability-linked loan linked to the SORA rate of the bank. As a company, MUFG is fully committed to upholding its ESG principles and remains unwavering in its support of our customers in accelerating their sustainability ambitions. We are therefore pleased to partner with Hongkong Land once again in its sustainability journey.”
Ms Elaine Lam, Head, Global Corporate Banking, OCBC Bank, said, “Hongkong Land has been a market leader for sustainable finance. Having partnered them recently on a HK$750 million sustainability-linked loan, we are pleased to follow that up with another sustainability-linked transaction – this time, Hongkong Land’s first Singapore Dollar denominated sustainability-linked loan pegged to SORA. The loan’s sustainability targets reflect Hongkong Land’s ambitions and the important role that sustainability plays in their business strategy. In addition, with the loan being pegged to SORA, Hongkong Land is contributing to the smooth industry transition away from SOR and other forward-looking reference rates. We look forward to the continued engagement with them on other innovative sustainable financing transactions.”
Mr Rajeev Kannan, Managing Executive Officer and Deputy Head, Asia Pacific Division of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation said, “We are pleased to support Hongkong Land’s continued commitment in addressing sustainability to achieve greater positive social and environmental impacts. SMBC is committed to make sustainability a reality and are delivering on this in multiple ways, including helping our customers move towards more sustainable business models. Well-structured sustainability-linked loans are another example of how we are embedding sustainability into our products and services, including access to capital markets, lending, transaction banking and advisory services.”
Mr Leong Yung Chee, Managing Director, Head of Group Corporate Banking, UOB said, “Our sustainable finance frameworks, including the UOB Real Estate Sustainable Finance Framework, simplifies the sustainable financing process for our clients through a clearly-defined list of criteria. The sustainability-linked loan facility to Hongkong Land recognises its integration of sustainable practices across their business and demonstrates clearly UOB’s commitment to forging a sustainable future as we open doors to business growth in the region.”