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HSBC touts expansion in green project financing channels

THE channels for financing green projects are expanding, just as the Philippines seeks to make sustainability a key feature of its infrastructure, the head of HSBC Philippines said.

“The good news is that in recent years, the number of financing options have increased tremendously, ranging from bank loans to capital markets. Globally, green deposits and investments are increasing. It’s a good time to go into this market to raise funding. At the moment, the demand for these assets is more than the supply,” the bank’s Philippine Chief Executive Sandeep Uppal said at a conference on Monday.

“Sustainability is a growth driver. A lot of consumers are paying for products and services which are environmentally friendly. The brands who live (up to their) environmental standards do stand out,” he added.

Mr. Uppal called for more transparency in financing flows and facilitated access to developing countries. “Without that, you cannot move from pledge to execution.”

He said that the Philippines’ regulatory environment has been conducive for sustainability.

“We’ve been watching closely the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). They did well to come up with a framework for sustainability. They’ve also come with a risk management framework and we expect something more on stress testing,” he said.

“Fiscal space is limited. The silver lining is that the Philippines is not alone. Most markets (have reduced fiscal space) space due to the pandemic. That creates a level playing field,” he added.

Mr. Uppal also noted the need for private sector investment, both sourced domestically and from overseas.

“To highlight the potential for the sector, the Philippines is one of the smaller markets in Asia but it creates an opportunity to partner with the right countries,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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