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HKEX launches sustainable and green exchange
STAGE features 29 sustainability-themed products from leading Asian corporates
1 Dec 2020 | The Asset

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has launched Asia’s first multi-asset sustainable investment product platform to meet the fast-growing global demand for sustainable finance.

The Sustainable and Green Exchange (STAGE) features 29 sustainability-themed products from leading Asian corporates. The HKEX-listed products include sustainability, green, and transition bonds from issuers across a variety of sectors including utilities, transportation, property development and financial services as well as ESG-related exchange traded products. 

Over time, the scope of the product repository will increase across asset classes and industries in Hong Kong and beyond, HKEX says.

Wilfred Yiu, HKEX head of markets, says: “The opportunities in sustainable finance in Asia are growing rapidly. There is a need for information about sustainable products and ESG data, and we hope that STAGE will help meet that demand.

“STAGE will connect market participants, issuers and investors, providing a one-stop shop for reliable green data and products, helping to drive growth potential, transparency and access to Asia’s exciting green and sustainable financial market.”

STAGE will allow issuers to provide investors with more information on their sustainable investment products, promoting transparency and facilitating access. Issuers included on STAGE must provide additional voluntary disclosures on their sustainable investment products, such as use of proceeds and annual post-issuance reports.

This additional information will enable investors to access a trusted, easy-to-use platform for the region’s fast-growing green sector, HKEX notes. The data will also act as a benchmark for issuers seeking to raise funds for their sustainable projects, and will also contribute to the standardization of sustainability metrics.

Globally, more than US$30 trillion is invested in the sustainable finance market, but less than one percent of that is in Asia, the Hong Kong stock market operator notes. But with increasing government and policy support, the business and investment case for sustainable finance in Asia is stronger than ever.

Grace Hui, HKEX head of green and sustainable finance, says: “HKEX is at the forefront of driving the sustainable finance agenda in the region. With the launch of STAGE, we are seeking to support the growth of Asia’s sustainable finance market by increasing awareness, accessibility, data availability, and transparency of green and sustainable investment products. 

“Ultimately, we aim to guide future capital flows to support our society’s transition towards sustainability. We are actively encouraging all regional issuers of green and sustainable products to consider application for inclusion on STAGE, in turn helping to build Asian financial markets’ own sustainability.” 

STAGE is envisioned to be an online repository of green and sustainable finance resources, promoting market education, knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement in sustainable finance. The library will provide case studies, webcast videos, guidance materials, research papers and other publications aimed at helping market participants enrich their understanding of  sustainable finance, green products, ESG integration and sustainable investing, HKEX notes.