Far Eastern New Century issues green bonds

Taipei-Far Eastern New Century Corp., one of the leading textile firms in Taiwan, listed NT$3 billion (US$102 million) in green bonds on the over-the-counter (OTC) market Monday, making it the first local private manufacturer to sell such bonds in the local market, according to the Taipei Exchange (TPEx).

The initiative, promoted by the local capital market, is aimed at showing corporate responsibility with regard to environmental protection, with the proceeds going toward funding environmentally friendly projects, the TPEx said.

Far Eastern New Century is also the third manufacturer in Taiwan to echo the government's advocacy of strengthening environmental protection efforts in the country after state-run oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan, and Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) began selling green bonds last year, the TPEx said.

According to the TPEx, the textile maker's green bonds carry a maturity of five years with a coupon rate of 0.95 percent.

KGI Securities is serving as the underwriter and financial advisor for Far Eastern New Century's issuance of green bonds. KGI Securities said the bonds have been well received by investors and are already oversubscribed.

Far Eastern New Century said the proceeds will be used for a broad range of production in a bid to reduce waste, including recycling of PET bottles into polyester chips.

In addition, the company will use the funds to improve its production technology in polyester items in an attempt to cut production of volatile organic compounds, while it is planning to purchase new equipment that will cut waste water production.

Far Eastern New Century said it will also build a green building in New Taipei's Banqiao District to house a research and development center.

The TPEx said that since the first four tranches of green bonds were listed on the OTC market May 19, 2017, Taiwan has a total of 11 tranches of green bonds, worth NT$24.6 billion, issued by nine companies.

On Dec. 15, 2017, Taipower listed NT$8.3 billion in two tranches of green bonds on the OTC market, the largest-ever issuance of such bonds in the exchange.

In July and September, France-based Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB) sold US$120 million-worth and US$25 million-worth of green bonds, respectively, the only foreign entity to issue green bonds in Taiwan.

The TPEx said some local manufacturers have expressed interest in issuing green bonds but have no specific issuance plans yet.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel