With India poised to come up with its first green bond issue soon, it would be useful to have an introduction on this class of fixed income securities, which has been gaining currency with each passing year.
Green bonds are classified as those securities, whose issue proceeds are utilized for financing or re-financing “green” projects i.e projects they are environmentally sustainable. Identification of projects to utilize proceeds from Green bond issues, is an important step to ensure market acceptability. The first such bond was issued by European Investment Bank in 2007 and these bonds were mostly issued by multilateral financial organisations like the World Bank, which has issued more than 200 green bonds. However, in last 5 years, many sovereigns have issued such bonds. Globally, investors look to invest in Green bonds, to meet their ESG mandate, while regulatory guidelines can serve as a nudge to move local investors towards such securities.
Green bonds generally have a maturity like a conventional Government security and see a higher demand from investors compared to the conventional bonds, which is seen in higher price or lower yield. This premium is referred to as ‘greenium’. The Indian green bond issue size is likely to be INR 16000 Cr. (160 Billion) as part of the INR 5.92 lakh crore (5920 Billion) borrowing programme for H2 of FY’23.
It would be interesting to watch out for the maiden Sovereign Green bond issue, as it may set the trend for issuances from India and other countries. Post the issue, Indian corporates are also likely to see better response for their Green bond issuances.