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Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 11:35

China bank's US$1-b 'green bond' debuts in London

By Reuters

HONG KONG - Agricultural Bank of China, the country's third-largest listed lender, completed its debut sale of US$1 billion dual currency bonds late on Tuesday in London - the first "green bond" from a Chinese bank.

Green bonds are issued to fund environment-friendly projects. This category of fixed-income instrument is growing fast as countries tackle climate change and pollution, a pressing issue in China.

The 600 million yuan (US$94.53 million) two-year yuan-denominated tranch of the bond was priced at 4.15 percent.

The order book reached about 4.9 billion yuan from 71 accounts. Asian investors accounted for 94 percent of demand while the rest went to European investors.

Banks took an 82 percent share, followed by funds at 12 percent and private banks at 6 percent.

The dollar segments were a US$400 million three-year tranche priced at 2.125 percent and a US$500 million five-year tranche at 2.75 percent.

The bond will be listed on the London Stock Exchange, with the proceeds to fund eligible green projects, the term sheet showed.

Agricultural Bank of China International, Barclays, HSBC and JP Morgan are joint global coordinators of the issue.

China Construction Bank sold 1 billion yuan of offshore yuan bonds in London earlier this week, and the People's Bank of China (PBOC) is expected to issue up to 5 billion yuan of one-year bills in London soon.

Britain and China agreed to a series of initiatives in September ranging from an expanded currency swap agreement to a feasibility study for a scheme to connect the London and Shanghai stock markets.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Britain later this month.

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