Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Lead manager of the year, green bonds - sovereign; Lead manager of the year, social bonds - sovereign; Lead manager of the year, social bonds - corporate; and Lead manager of the year, sustainability bonds - local authority/municipality: HSBC

HSBC again won multiple Environmental Finance Sustainable Debt Awards, this time walking away with four having added Lead manager of the year, social bonds – corporate and Lead manager of the year, social bonds – sovereign to the two it also won last year.

Anjuli Pandit"We want to keep pushing the boundaries of this market and drive capital towards the countries and sectors that need it the most," said Anjuli Pandit, head of sustainable debt capital markets (DCM), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Americas on HSBC's multiple wins.

"We respect market precedent but also recognise that continuous innovation better allows issuers to clearly articulate bespoke ESG opportunities and challenges to the market."

For sovereigns entering the ESG-labelled bond market, HSBC structured inaugural frameworks for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirate of Sharjah, Cyprus, and Romania in 2023.

In addition, HSBC continued in its structurer role for sovereigns experienced in the market. Particularly Hong Kong, which came to the market with a HKD800 million ($101 million) 365-day tokenised green bond, a first for an Asian institution. In addition, it issued two large ESG bonds valued at $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion across multiple currencies which were both the largest Asian issuances.

"We are most proud of creating bespoke frameworks that showcase the sovereign's unique strategy - providing sovereigns with a platform to articulate their own sustainable path to investors," added Pandit. "We go beyond execution by facilitating frank conversations on how the sovereign's strategy impacts the overall credit profile of the country and future risk management."

On the social bonds side of sovereigns, HSBC supported Colombia in executing its inaugural social bond, which included peacebuilding as a core project category. Staying in Latin America, HSBC continued its partnership with Chile as it introduced a gender-focused key performance indicator (KPI) to its $2.25 billion sustainability bond.

"We are proud to have been a long-standing ally to the sovereigns in Latin America, who have led the development of sustainable finance in the region," said JP Gallipoli, director of DCM for HSBC USA. "Landmark transactions we delivered in 2023 include supporting Colombia on their inaugural social bond, which highlighted their nuanced social context – and the pioneering move from Chile in featuring a social and, importantly, gender-oriented KPI, for the very first time by a sovereign."

In sustainability bonds in municipalities and local authorities, HSBC was involved in every single sovereign, supranational and agency (SSA) ESG-labelled issue in Spain in 2023, the only international bank to be so. Spanish local authorities that issued during the year with HSBC included Madrid, Junta Andal, Galicia, Basque, Andalucia and Castilla y Leon.

"Partnering with the Spanish regions and local authorities on their sustainability strides also means helping Spain to reach its overall net zero goals," said Carlos Zayas, director of DCM for HSBC Spain. "We were delighted to be the only international bank on every single one of Spanish SSA ESG-labelled bonds in 2023 – a clear seal of our trusted advisor status in their journey to Paris Alignment."

Outside of Spain the bank was the sole structurer on Bordeaux's sustainability bond framework which includes achieving carbon neutrality in its territory by 2025 and promotes social initiatives focused on the fight against inequality and exclusion in the community. It launched a green private placement through this framework in 2023.

Finally, for corporate social bonds, HSBC believes despite a quieter year there remained a resilient demand for social-labelled capital markets products that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Key issues from the year included Korea Land and Housing Corporation and Korea Housing Finance Corporation, who both came to the market, with assistance from HSBC, with social bonds linked to affordable housing. In the UK, Motability, who HSBC has been an active book runner on all of its bond transactions, came to the market with a bond, the proceeds of which will assist disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair using their disability benefits. Although this was a social bond it also had green elements including electric fleet and electric equipment.

"We take pride in helping issuers to build a sustainable development proposition which goes beyond the environmental to the social, especially in APAC and the wider emerging market where local socioeconomic consideration needs to be taken care of in a robust and constructive manner," said Luying Gan, head of sustainable DCM for APAC.