Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) announced today the launch of Sustainable & Green Exchange – STAGE – a new online platform that will act as a central hub for data and information on sustainable and green finance investments Asia.
The new platform is being launched as global demand for sustainable investments is experiencing significant growth, as is the use of green financial products, such as green bonds. Green bond issuance in Asia-Pacific hit record levels in 2019, raising US$18.89 billion, and grew 45% globally.
The goal of STAGE is to promote the visibility, transparency, and accessibility of sustainable and green finance across asset class and product type. The platform will provide investors with access to a comprehensive database of sustainable and green investment options that are available on Hong Kong’s securities markets. Additionally, it will provide an education and advocacy platform enabling the sharing of knowledge, and promoting stakeholder engagement.
HKEX outlined four objectives it expects to promote with STAGE:
- Promoting green finance and sustainability integration across asset classes and product types, providing access to a comprehensive online database of information on sustainable and impact investing.
- Provides investors and asset managers with easy access to information for investment due diligence, selection and monitoring of sustainable and green investments.
- Helping issuers increase the visibility and awareness of their financial products that meet certain sustainable and green standards, across asset classes.
- Championing a diverse range of sustainable and green initiatives and opportunities across Asia, connecting stakeholders to innovative products, ideas and strategies from around the globe.
Commenting on the launch of the new platform, HKEX Head of Green and Sustainable Finance, Grace Hui, said:
“The launch of STAGE demonstrates HKEX’s strong commitment to sustainability. By encouraging issuers, investors, asset managers, market participants and advisors to play an active role in enhancing the sustainable and green finance ecosystem in Hong Kong and the region, we are in turn reinforcing the sustainability of our own market.”
Hui added, “Our goal is to help issuers raise awareness of their sustainable and green financial products, whilst also offering investors and asset managers easy access to information for their due diligence, selection and monitoring.”
Initially, STAGE will act as a repository of information on sustainability, green and social bonds and ESG-related Exchange Traded Products listed on HKEX. Issuers are invited free of charge to display products on the platform that meet international standards or principles and provide annual post-issuance reports. HKEX anticipates launching the online repository as early as later this year.
Over time, HKEX will consider expanding STAGE’s coverage to additional asset classes and product types such as derivative products linked to relevant sustainability or ESG indices, as well as other green or sustainable financial products.