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      香港金融管理局《綠色可持續金融資助計劃》

      2021年5月4日,香港金管局公布了以下《綠色和可持續金融資助計劃》 (GSF Grant Scheme)以取代施行了3年的《債券資助先導計劃》(PBGS)。

       

      Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme (GSF Grant Scheme).

       

      The GSF Grant Scheme will provide subsidy for eligible bond issuers and loan borrowers to cover their expenses on bond issuance and external review services. It will commence on 10 May 2021 and last for three years.

       

        Details

      Track I

      General Bond Issuance Costs

      Track II

      External Review Costs
      Eligible bond issuers

      First-time green and sustainable bond issuers1 are issuers that have not issued green and sustainable bonds in Hong Kong in the rolling five-year period prior to the bond’s pricing date.

       

      Arrangers of GSF Grant Scheme bonds are not eligible as issuers of the GSF Grant Scheme.

      Green and sustainable bond issuers and loan borrowers, including first-time and repeated issuers and borrowers.

       

      Arrangers/lenders of GSF Grant Scheme bonds/loans are not eligible as issuers/borrowers of the GSF Grant Scheme.
      Eligible issues

      Eligible issues must satisfy the following criteria:

       

      - having procured pre-issuance external review services related to the bond issue that is provided by a recognised external reviewer (see Definitions below);

      - being issued in Hong Kong (see Definitions below);

      - having an issuance size of at least HK$1.5 billion (or the equivalent in foreign currency);

      - being lodged with and cleared by the Central Moneymarkets Unit (CMU) operated by the HKMA in its entirety, or being listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK); and

      - being, at issuance, issued in Hong Kong to (i) 10 or more persons or (ii) less than 10 persons none of whom is an associate of the issuer.

      Eligible green and sustainable bonds must satisfy the following criteria:

       

      - having procured pre-issuance external review services related to the bond issue that is provided by a recognised external reviewer (see Definitions below);

      - being issued in Hong Kong (see Definitions below);

      - having an issuance size of at least HK$200 million (or the equivalent in foreign currency);

      - being lodged with and cleared by the CMU in its entirety, or being listed on the SEHK; and

      - being, at issuance, issued in Hong Kong to (i) 10 or more persons or (ii) less than 10 persons none of whom is an associate of the issuer.

      Recognised external reviewer

      When assessing an external reviewer, the HKMA will, based on the information provided in the External Reviewer Information Form, consider whether it has:

       

      - considerable presence in Hong Kong ;

      - satisfactory observance of internationally-recognised standards; and

      - proven track records in providing external review services to green and sustainable bonds and loans, especially international issuances.

      Issued in Hong Kong A bond is considered issued in Hong Kong if half or more of the involved lead arranger(s) are recognised arrangers. Bond arranging activities comprise originating and structuring, legal and transaction documentation preparation, and sale and distribution.
      Grant amount

      The grant amount for each green and sustainable bond issue is equivalent to half of the eligible expenses, up to the following limits:

       

      - HK$2.5 million where the bond, its issuer or its guarantor(s) possess a credit rating by a rating agency recognised by the HKMA2 ; or

      - HK$1.25 million where none of the bond, its issuer or its guarantor(s) possess a credit rating by a rating agency recognised by the HKMA.

       

      Each issuer can apply for a grant for two green and sustainable bond issuances at most.
      Full cost of eligible expenses paid to recognised external reviewers, capped at HK$800,000 per bond issuance.
      Eligible expenses

      Eligible expenses include the following3:

       

      1. Fees to Hong Kong-based arrangers

      2. Fees to Hong Kong-based legal advisors

      3. Fees to Hong Kong-based auditors and accountants

      4. Fees to Hong Kong-based rating agencies

      5. SEHK listing fees

      6. CMU lodging and clearing fees

       

      Expenses relating to external review services are covered separately under Track II - External Review Costs.

      Eligible expenses include all transaction-related fees for:

       

      1. pre-issuance external review (including, for example, certification, second-party opinion, verification, ESG scoring/rating, assurance, consultation to develop the green and sustainable bond/loan framework); and

      2. post-issuance external review or reporting.

      Application process

      Pre-application consultation:

       

      Prior to or after the issuance of the bond/loan, the lead arranger(s)/lender(s) may, on behalf of the issuer/borrower, consult the HKMA via gsfgs@hkma.gov.hk on a preapplication before submitting the formal application. The HKMA will give a no-objection to the pre-application if it is satisfied that, based on the preliminary information provided by the lead arranger(s)/lender(s), the eligibility requirements for the GSF Grant Scheme are met.

       

      Formal application:

       

      A formal application may be made by the lead arranger(s)/lender(s) within three months after the bond/loan is issued, or within three months of the invoice date in the case of post-issuance external reviewer costs7 . Applicants may obtain the Issuer/Borrower Application Form, Arranger Information Form and External Reviewer Information Form from the HKMA via gsfgs@hkma.gov.hk. The HKMA will process applications in monthly batches.

      1 In the GSF Grant Scheme, the term “issuer” denotes the entity issuing a bond and the entity’s associate(s). The term “associate” refers to (i) a person/corporation over which the issuer has control; (ii) a person/corporation which has control over the issuer; or (iii) a person/corporation that is under the control of the same person/corporation as the issuer.

      2 The rating agencies recognised by the HKMA are: Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, Rating and Investment Information, Inc, and S&P Global Ratings.

      3 Expenses covered by another grant scheme(s) in Hong Kong or outside Hong Kong are ineligible.

       

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