Philippines offers at least $500 mln green bonds to European investors

Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez gestures as he listen to a questions during a "Dutertenomics" (President Rodrigo Duterte Economic) forum in a hotel in Pasay city, metro Manila, Philippines April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
  • Final size, tenure of sovereign bonds yet to be fixed
  • Philippines plans to retire coal-fired power plants

MANILA, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has sought European investors' support for an inaugural government green bonds offering worth at least $500 million, to raise funds for clean energy projects, his department said on Friday.

Dominguez in a news release said the sale of these debt securities, known as environmental, social and governance (ESG) sovereign bonds, will be done "in the coming weeks".

The Southeast Asian country aims for a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under its commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a more ambitious goal than its a previous target of a 70% cut set a few years ago. read more

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To help achieve the target, it plans to retire its coal-fired power plants and seek more investments in renewable energy.

Dominguez said the Philippines was determined to move ahead with its emission reduction goal, but pointed out that financial support from wealthier countries was necessary.

On Thursday, he said the government was in talks with various banks on the appropriate structure for the green bond offer, and was "looking at a window of opportunity in different currency markets". read more

He did not name the banks, but fixed income news provider IFR reported on Wednesday that the government had tapped Bank of China , Citigroup, Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Mizuho Bank, Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and UBS (UBSG.S) for a potential $1 billion to $2 billion bond offering in the ESG format.

With its maiden offer, the government follows the footsteps of Philippine companies that had tapped the green bond markets in recent years, including BDO Unibank Inc (BDO.PS) and Ayala Corp's power unit, AC Energy Corp (ACEN.PS).

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Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty

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