Bank of China issues its first blue bond in offshore markets
22 September 2020
Allen & Overy has advised the joint lead managers and joint bookrunners on the inaugural dual-currency blue bond offering by Bank of China Limited, Paris Branch and Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch. This marks the first blue bond issuance in Asia and the fourth such issuance globally. It is also the first blue bond issued by a commercial bank.
This landmark transaction comprises USD500 million 0.95% bonds due 2023 and CNY3 billion 3.15% bonds due 2022. Both blue bond offerings are issued under Bank of China Limited’s USD40 billion MTN programme and are aligned with the Green Bond Principles (2018) published by the International Capital Market Association.
The blue bond issuance falls under the umbrella of green bonds. Proceeds of the bonds will be used to finance and/or refinance marine-related eligible green projects. Categories of eligible projects endorsed under the blue bonds include renewable energy, including but not limited to offshore wind power projects, which promotes the development of marine renewable energy; and sustainable water and wastewater management, including but not limited to marine-related integrated sewage treatment projects in coastal cities, which reduces the discharge of untreated sewage to the seas and coastal areas.
The A&O team was co-led by partners Jaclyn Yeap and Agnes Tsang, with support from Alan Zhang, Susan Zhang and Rachel Cheung.
Our involvement in this transaction follows our advice on Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch’s small and medium enterprises themed (COVID-19 Impact Alleviation) social bonds issuance in March, Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch’s first SOFR-based bond in Asia and first green bonds in Macau last October, and Bank of China’s landmark issuance of USD3.8bn equivalent multi-currency bonds for the Belt and Road Initiative last April (recently awarded Debt Market Deal of the Year - Premium by ALB China Law Awards 2020).