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BNP Paribas striving to promote sustainable finance in S. Korea

BNP Paribas SA, France‘s biggest bank, will strive hard to promote its sustainable finance in South Korea as it seeks to arrange more funds for projects that make a positive impact on the environment and society, a company executive said Friday.

Sustainable finance has been a watchword for investors that integrate environmental, social and governance issues into their investment decisions.

Since a UN climate deal was signed in Paris in 2015, pension funds and financial firms around the world have mounted fossil fuel divestment.

Speaking at a forum on sustainable finance, Philippe Noirot, head of the French bank’s Korean unit, said the global market for sustainable finance grew to some $250 billion in 2018.

BNP Paribas served as a bookrunner when Korea Water Resources Corp. sold $300 million of green bonds. Also, the French bank was a lead manager when the Korea Housing Finance Corp. sold 500 million euros of social bonds.

“Given the continued focus on sustainability, we expect the sustainable finance market to continue to grow for the foreseeable future,” Noirot said.

“We will strive to continue this trend and be your trusted partner in navigating the growing market of sustainable finance for years to come,” Noirot said.

Although the volume of global green loans is tiny compared with the global green bond market, Noirot said there was a significant growth in green loan deals last year.

“While the sustainable finance market was mostly dominated by bonds until 2017, in 2018 we saw the explosive growth of alternative sustainable financial products, such as green loans and positive incentive loans,” Noirot said. (Yonhap)