ASIC turns the screws on greenwashing in enforcement push
Increased engagement with sustainability across the economy and markets is leading to growing awareness of greenwashing risk – the potential for environmental credentials to be overstated or misrepresented. In response, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is making surveillance of fund managers, companies and financial institutions that deal, invest or issue regulated products with a sustainability focus an enforcement priority.
Transition the key in sustainable finance
Transition to a more sustainable economy is increasingly driving investment and business decisions. While climate has been a key focus, market participants are now moving to add natural capital to their calculations and pressing ahead with more socially focused projects, according to speakers at the KangaNews Sustainable Debt Summit, which took place in Sydney in late May.
Corporate bond issuance set to spark
Corporate borrowers have leaned on bank loans in 2022, as volatility and rising cost of funds in fixed income markets have made public bond issuance less attractive. The situation will not last indefinitely, however – indeed, corporate issuers may be forced back into funding markets in H2.
Deeper roots support corporate issuance in Australia
Not long ago, the Australian corporate credit market was struggling to shake off the perception of being the first to close and the last to reopen. While corporate deal flow has been limited in 2022, investors and intermediaries say there has not been a full-scale retreat of liquidity – which represents a step-change in market maturity.
Green deposit takeup widens with MUFG-Sydney Airport facility
A key benefit of sustainable finance evolution for corporate borrowers is the growing range of products on which they can bring their sustainability strategies to bear. Green deposits are a relatively recent innovation and their use is growing – most recently through MUFG Bank’s first client sign-up in Australia, Sydney Airport.
A decade of development
The KangaNews-Westpac Corporate Debt Summit debuted in 2011, with a relatively small audience and a market that could not yet take consistent supply of corporate bonds for granted. In the decade since, the event and the market have grown and diversified. By 2019 – the last year before COVID-19 put the in-person event on hiatus – registrations had more than trebled, to nearly 600, and the event’s agenda covered not just corporate debt but a raft of issues relevant to the economic and business environment.