UK picks HSBC and J.P. Morgan to advise on first green gilt

FILE PHOTO: British finance minister Rishi Sunak speaks at the House of Commons in London, January 11, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday it had picked HSBC and J.P. Morgan to advise on the issuance of the country’s first ‘green’ government bond due later this year, after a tendering process.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday that he expected to be able to announce more about the timing of the issuance when he holds his annual budget on March 3.

Britain has lagged behind other European countries in issuing the debt, which is intended to finance green investment, and attracts environmentally conscious investors.

Until recently the United Kingdom Debt Management Office believed green bonds would be more expensive than normal debt, as investors would demand a higher interest rate to compensate for their lack of liquidity compared to standard gilts.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Alistair Smout