The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) launched its first Green Bond on the London Stock Exchange's new International Securities Market (ISM) to finance renewable energy projects in India.
A new 10-year dated green bond listed by REC raised $450 million, with an annual yield of 3.965 per cent. It was 3.9 times oversubscribed on the final order book and secured strong international investor interest, with Asian investors making up 68 per cent of the order book and investors from Europe, Middle East and Africa region making up 32 per cent.
Dr P.V. Ramesh, chairman and managing director of India's state-owned company which finances and promotes power sector projects in the country, opened trading at the London Stock Exchange recently to celebrate the listing.
“The REC team is delighted to be welcomed to London Stock Exchange today in celebration of its green bond listing. The funds raised will help promote renewable energy projects all across India and aid in achieving our government's target of 175GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022,” said Dr Ramesh.
“Through this issuance on London Stock Exchange, we will be also able to reach out to a new investor base,” he added.
The new bond will plug into REC's plans to provide affordable and accessible power to most rural parts of India by 2020. Some of the projects will include solar, wind and biomass assets, as well as sustainable water and waste management projects. The company, which is headquartered in New Delhi, provides financial assistance to various State Power Utilities, Private Sector Project Developers, Central Power Sector Utilities and State Governments for investments in Power Generation, Power Transmission, Power Distribution, rural electrification projects and other system improvement initiatives.
Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange, said: “The success of REC's $450 million issuance is a significant achievement for the Rural Electrification Corporation, underlining the strength of international investor interest in building exposure to India's green growth story.
“REC's listing reinforces London's status as a market open to the world and a strong partner to India as it realises its ambitious green financing and infrastructure projects across the country. It is also an important milestone for our Group asREC is listing the first green bond on our International Securities Market.”
The REC bond, which is supported by the Climate Bonds Initiative, is ISM's first green bond listing since the new market launched in May this year to improve the effectiveness and competitiveness of the UK primary debt markets, offering greater choice for a variety of fixed income issuers.
Sean Kidney, CEO and co-founder of Climate Bonds Initiative, said: “This certified bond will help bring green energy to rural Indian villagers, clean power to where it's needed most. It's another step towards the nations' 2022 renewable energy target.
“Institutional investors backing long term carbon friendly projects is what we need to see replicated on a grand scale. Listing on London Stock Exchange gives exposure to global capital pools, an essential ingredient to reach India's climate finance goals.”
This is the third green bond by an Indian issuer on London Stock Exchange. Axis Bank and NTPC joined in 2016, raising the equivalent of $500 million and $300 million respectively. In 2015, London Stock Exchange launched its dedicated green bond segments creating strict admission criteria aligned with International Capital Market Association′s (ICMA) Green Bonds Principles. There are 45 green bonds listed in London that have raised the equivalent of $12 billion in seven different currencies.