Initially, ‘STAGE’ will host information on the 44 green bonds and two ESG-related ETFs listed in Hong Kong. Over time, it could expand to include equities, overseas products, and derivatives.
HKEX (Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing) by the end of the year will launch a new information platform that will act as a central hub for data and information on sustainable and green finance investments in the region.
The HKEX Sustainable and Green Exchange, known as ‘STAGE’, will promote the visibility, transparency, and accessibility of sustainable and green finance across asset class and product type, providing investors with access to a comprehensive database of sustainable and green investment options available on Hong Kong’s securities markets.
STAGE will additionally serve as an education and advocacy platform, promoting knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement in sustainable finance.
“The launch of STAGE demonstrates HKEX’s strong commitment to sustainability. By encouraging issuers, investors, asset managers, market participants and advisors to play an active role in enhancing the sustainable and green finance ecosystem in Hong Kong and the region, we are in turn reinforcing the sustainability of our own market,” said HKEX Head of Green and Sustainable Finance, Grace Hui.
As at end-December, the cumulative amount of green bonds arranged and issued in Hong Kong reached USD 26 billion, including USD 10 billion during 2019 alone.
“Our goal is to help issuers raise awareness of their sustainable and green financial products, whilst also offering investors and asset managers easy access to information for their due diligence, selection and monitoring,” Hui said.
In the initial phase of its launch, STAGE will be home to a repository of information on sustainability, green and social bonds and ESG-related ETFs listed on HKEX. Currently, there are 44 green bonds and 2 green ETFs listed in Hong Kong.
Issuers listed on STAGE will be required to state the international standards of principles that their green bonds adhere to, and submit copies of their green bond frameworks, external review documents, and annual post-issuance reports.
The disclosure of such information on STAGE is expected to help issuers increase the visibility and awareness of their green, social, and/or sustainable products.
Other issuers with products that meet international green standards or principles are also invited to join STAGE and to display their products on the platform, without the need to pay any fees.
HKEX plans further development of the platform over time, to expand its coverage to introduce more asset classes and product types – including equities, overseas listed products, and derivative products linked to relevant sustainability or ESG indices.
Nasdaq and LuxSE (Luxembourg Stock Exchange) have launched similar information platforms aimed at promoting sustainable investment, known as the NSBN (Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network) and the LGX (Luxembourg Green Exchange), respectively.