The FINANCIAL -- London Stock Exchange on June 6 welcomes Axis Bank, India’s leading private sector capital markets bank, to open trading in London to celebrate the bank’s landmark issuance of India’s first internationally listed certified green bond on London Stock Exchange. The bond, certified by the Climate Bonds Standards Board, raised USD 500 million.
It is the first green bond for Axis Bank within its USD 5 billion Medium Term Note (MTN) programme, which has additionally listed its entire MTN programme in London. The proceeds of the bond will be invested in green energy, transportation and infrastructure projects, reinforcing India’s commitment to produce 175,000 MW of renewable power by 2022, according to London Stock Exchange.
To celebrate the listing, Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc & Director of International Development, London Stock Exchange Group welcomed, Alok Sharma MP, UK Prime Minister’s Infrastructure Envoy to India and Shikha Sharma, Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank to open trading in London this morning.
Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc & Director of International Development, London Stock Exchange Group:
“Axis Bank is a long standing and distinguished equity issuer on London Stock Exchange, and has been an instrumental partner in the IFC’s masala bond programme devoted to developing infrastructure in India. It is therefore no surprise that Axis Bank is taking a global leadership role today, with the successful issuance of the first internationally listed certified green bond from India. We are honoured to welcome this landmark issuance, which builds on the far-reaching announcements made during Prime Minister Modi’s visit strengthening financial ties between the UK and India.
“London Stock Exchange is a world leader in green bond listings, home to international green finance from India and China. In partnership with the UK Government, we remain committed to building London as the premier centre for green bond issuance and green finance and look forward to further collaboration with Axis Bank, as it continues to strengthen its presence in the UK and globally.”
Shikha Sharma, Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank:
“We, at Axis Bank, have always demonstrated our commitment to fostering a green and sustainable environment through our various initiatives. In addition to putting in place 'sustainable lending' practices on the lending side, Axis has also taken measures at its corporate office and branches to promote a green footprint. To further progress on this journey, Axis Bank launched and successfully completed the first certified Green Bond issue, the issue we are pleased to list on the London Stock Exchange today. The encouraging response to this issue is reflective of the keenness of global investors to promote and support a sustainable environment and also acknowledge Axis's credibility in this space. The ease of the listing process and breadth of investors seen in this bond issuance demonstrates the role London Stock Exchange can play in supporting India's financing needs.”
Harriett Baldwin MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister):
“I'm delighted that Axis Bank has chosen London as the location to issue the first certified international green bond from India.
“This issuance cements London’s role as the leading global centre for green finance and India's international partner of choice.”
Alok Sharma MP, UK Prime Minister’s Infrastructure Envoy to India:
“I am absolutely delighted to see Axis Bank come to the City of London to raise finance for green infrastructure investment. This demonstrates the UK’s pivotal role in helping to finance transport and renewable energy projects in India. Make in India, finance in Britain is clearly a winning formula!”
Sean Kidney, CEO & Co-founder, Climate Bonds Initiative:
“Axis Bank has been an active lender to significant green projects and assets: including renewable energy, low-carbon transport and energy efficiency. This bond continues that direction. It provides an opportunity for institutional investors to support developments that will help address the serious long-term risks of climate change. Green and low carbon investment what the world needs.”
Kaku Nakhate, India Country Head, BofAML:
“The Axis Bank issue represents several firsts: the first ever USD green bond by an Indian private sector company and the first ever 144A green bond from India, with 21% of the investor base being green investors. More importantly, it attracted the lowest coupon ever for a 5-year USD bond by any Indian private sector issuer. As the No. 1 green book-runner globally, Bank of America Merrill Lynch remains at the forefront of environmental financing.”
London Stock Exchange has a strong track record of supporting green issuance on its markets. London welcomed the first green bond ever issued by a Chinese financial institution last year. Agricultural Bank of China issued RMB and dollar green bonds with a total value of USD 1 billion on London Stock Exchange in October 2015. This followed the launch in July 2015 of a range of new segments on London Stock Exchange’s fixed income markets, designed to support the new global demand for green bonds.
To date, there are 31 green bonds on London Stock Exchange, including those denominated in Rupees and Renminbi, which have raised over USD 7 billion. In 2016 alone, 6 new green bonds have raised over USD 2 billion.
Axis Bank’s green bond follows the listing of the first Rupee denominated bond on London Stock Exchange, issued by International Finance Corporation, in 2014. The proceeds of the USD 163 million equivalent Masala bond were invested into Axis Bank’s infrastructure bonds.