Taipei, May 18 (CNA) Taiwan launched a Sustainable Bond Market (SBM) on Tuesday, listing its first three tranches of social bonds, as part of its efforts to promote corporate sustainability.
The Taipei Exchange (TPEx), which runs the board, said the SBM comprises green, social and sustainability bonds, in an integrated listing and trading mechanism that will streamline their issuance.
Social bonds are debt instruments that raise money for social projects such as gender equality initiatives, while sustainability bonds are a combination of green bonds and social bonds and are used to finance projects that bring environmental and socioeconomic benefits, the TPEx said.
Green bonds, promoted by Taiwan's capital markets and financial authorities, are aimed at encouraging companies to act in an environmentally responsible way, with the proceeds going to eco-friendly projects, according to the TPEx.
"Sustainable development has become a universal value that is a remedy to lead human beings to a better future" the TPEx said in a statement. "This dedicated market is designed to provide detailed information to promote sustainability, to develop sustainable finance and to enhance the international visibility of Taiwan."
The first green bonds on the TPEx were listed in May 2017 and first sustainability bonds in November 2020.
On Tuesday, the first three tranches of social bonds on the SBM were issued by CTBC Bank, SinoPac Bank and KGI Bank, the TPEx said.
CTBC Bank sold NT$1 billion (US$35.71 million) in social bonds, which it said will be used to facilitate projects related to socioeconomic advancement and empowerment.
SinoPac Bank and KGI Bank issued NT$1 billion and NT$700 million worth of social bonds, respectively, and said they will use the proceeds to increase job opportunities, fund affordable housing, and help mitigate the severe socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the SBM launch ceremony on Tuesday, head of the Financial Supervisory Commission Huang Tien-mu (黃天牧) said the SMB will help Taiwan improve its capital market with the aim of strengthening corporate sustainability, facilitating inclusive financing, boosting its competitive edge, and protecting investors.
Executive Director of the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office in Taipei Tania Berchem, Head of Sustainable Finance of the International Capital Market Association Nicholas Pfaff, and the Co-founder and CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative Sean Kidney congratulated Taiwan on the launch of the new bond market, speaking via a prepared video.
As of Tuesday, the Taiwan SBM had 52 tranches of outstanding green bonds worth NT$155.57 billion, five tranches of sustainability bonds worth NT$49.34 billion, and three new tranches of social bonds worth NT$2.7 billion, according to the TPEx.