Chinese technology company Alibaba announced a proposed offering of U.S. dollar denominated senior unsecured notes, including notes being issued under its recently released sustainable finance framework. According to a Reuters report, the company plans to raise up to $5 billion in the offering.
Alibaba’s sustainable finance framework sets out eligible uses of proceeds for funds from sustainable finance transactions, including green, social and sustainability bonds and loans. Eligible uses of funds included under “Green” categories include green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and circular economy and design. Social categories now include “COVID-19 Crisis Response,” encompassing allocations to areas including medical equipment, testing kits and vaccines; technology or other technical support for research institutions and other organizations with the objective of accelerating drug and vaccine discovery, and diagnostic capabilities and public health development efforts, and; programs such as merchant relief and rural support, providing personnel and logistics support for accelerated digitalization, in order to help ensure business and employment continuity.
The framework also includes reporting requirements, under which Alibaba will disclose on the allocation of the funds from the transaction, and on the estimated impact from the projects.
Alibaba’s sustainable finance framework has received a second party opinion from by ESG services and information provider Sustainalytics, and the notes have been assigned an ‘A+’ rating from Fitch Ratings.