Ten Thai firms plan to issue green bonds in 2020

Thailand’s private sector is all in on going green with at least ten major companies preparing to issue green bonds in 2020, as the country’s private sector set a new annual record for corporate bond issues with over $33 billion in funds raised by mid-November.

The companies planning to issue green bonds are both listed and non-listed companies, said Sirivipa Supantanet, Deputy Secretary-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A green bond is a fundraising instrument for eco-friendly or ESG projects or businesses.

She added that the SEC is studying the creation of a green bond verifier by the first half of next year to ensure that green bonds from Thai firms align with international standards.

The verifier would be a third party tasked with certifying green paper issued in the Thai market. The Commission and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) have asked the World Bank to consult on establishing the verifier.

TMB Bank was Thailand’s first green bond issuer in June 2018. Five firms followed: Kasikornbank, B.Grimm Power Plc., BTS Group Holdings Plc., Energy Absolute Plc., and Bank of Ayudhya. The six raised a combined $1.32 billion, according to the SEC data.

The Thai Bond Market Association (TBMA), said the new record for bonds was fueled by strong demand for funds for mergers and acquisitions, and business expansions, both at home and abroad.

“The corporate bond market’s promise will continue amid the low-interest-rate environment as issuers can rollover bonds to take advantage of lower costs,” said Tada Phuttitada, President of the TBMA.

Photo courtesy of www.worldbank.org