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Axis Bank’s maiden Rule 144A /Regulation S green bond: first Asian bank issuance to be certified as “green” under standards developed by the Climate Bonds Initiative

14 June 2016

Allen & Overy has advised Axis Bank Limited on its inaugural USD500 million green bond issue, offered pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S, and the largest green bond issued by an Indian bank.

This green bond issue was the first by an Asian bank to be certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (a non-profit organisation working to mobilise debt capital markets for climate change solutions, which has developed assurance standards for the green bond market). The green issuance was also verified by an independent assurance statement, to support the certification, by the Climate Bond Initiative.

This is also the first green bond by an Indian issuer to be listed on the London Stock Exchange (on its green market segment) and was also dual listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The proceeds of the bond issue will be used to fund eligible green projects and allocations will be made under the issuer’s green bond framework. Eligible green projects include those related to renewable energy, low carbon transport and low carbon buildings. The issuer’s green bond framework focuses on the sustainability values of Axis Bank, selection and evaluation of green projects, earmarking of funds, reporting and assurance. An independent assurance provider will certify the annual updates by Axis Bank on the use of the proceeds of the bond.

U.S. securities partner Amit Singh led the Allen & Overy team from Hong Kong with support from lawyers David Cameron, Peter Crossan, Michele Discepola, Debolina Saha and Ming Wei Loo.

Commenting, Allen & Overy partner Amit Singh said: “India is increasingly focusing on renewable energy and environmentally friendly infrastructure plans and this issuance shows a growing appetite for green bonds to fund these types of projects. The Axis Bank green bond has marked a number of significant firsts including a stamp of approval by the Climate Bond Initiative as well as KPMG. We are pleased to have advised on this transaction and expect to see more of these issuances from India.”

The Hong Kong based A&O team has previously advised the joint lead managers on Export-Import Bank of India’s and IDBI Bank Limited’s green bond issuances, which represented the first and second international issue of green bonds from India. The Allen & Overy team has acted on all of the international issues of green bonds from India so far.

For further information, please contact Nadine Gibbon, nadine.gibbon@allenovery.com, on +852 2974 7090.