On 12 November 2019 the Moscow Exchange included RUB250m of Center-invest Bank bonds in the green bonds segment of its Sustainable Development Sector. This is the first issue of green bank bonds in Russia. Center-invest Bank’s green bonds are due to be available from 15 November.
As stated in the Opinion issued by RAEX-Europe, the funds obtained from this bond issuance will be used in line with the Green Bond Principles (2018) developed by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA). The bank is obliged to disclose in its annual Environmental Report the purposes for which the funds have been used, and the overall impact of these investments on sustainability indicators.
“Responsible finance is a global trend, and we are proud that our bank is the first financial institution in Russia to have bonds included in the Moscow Exchange’s Sustainable Development Sector,” said Lidia Simonova, deputy chairman of Center-invest Bank’s Executive Board. “The key difference with these bonds is the purpose for which they are being issued: the funds from the bond issuance will be used to finance and refinance loans for energy efficiency projects and renewable energy and to finance green transport. By investing in the green bonds, you will be contributing to environmental protection and sustainable development in southern Russia.”
Center-invest Bank started providing “green” loans in 2005, financing energy efficiency projects for small business, retail customers and homeowners’ associations in Russia. To date, we have financed 20,700 projects, lending in excess of RUB17bn. These projects have achieved an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 200,000 tonnes (equivalent to planting 8.1m trees).
On 1 November 2019 Center-invest Bank became an official signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking of the UNEP Financial Initiative.
Center-invest Bank is a positive example of a socially responsible business based on an ESG-banking business model. All of Center-invest Bank’s projects reflect its responsible attitude to the social development of the regions in which it operates, the protection of natural resources, the improvement of the financial literacy of the population, and entrepreneurial development, which taken together represent the future of the Russian economy.
The development by the Moscow Exchange of a Sustainable Development Sector and the inclusion of issuers in this sector is in line with the concept for developing green, social and sustainability bonds that is being worked on by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, other relevant federal executive bodies, government agencies, the Bank of Russia and the business community.