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HSBC launches sustainable and transition finance team in Mideast

23 Jan 2021

HSBC has announced the formation of a dedicated Sustainable and Transition Finance Team in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT). The team will help institutions,corporates and individuals transition to a more sustainable economy.

Speaking at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Noel Quinn, HSBC’s group chief executive, said, “Our best chance to achieve a successful global transition to net-zero is in partnership, where the public and private sectors are working together to create the optimal conditions for sustainable growth and are aligned on a common goal.” 

The new team has deep technical knowledge of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) opportunities and challenges facing HSBC’s customers, as well as the evolving regulatory space and its impacts. With a presence in all of HSBC’s markets across MENAT, the team will work with all of HSBC’s bankers to provide advice, expertise and financing solutions to customers across all sectors and segments – no matter what stage of the sustainability journey they are on, according to a press release. 

The MENAT Sustainable and Transition Finance Team will work closely with HSBC’s recently launched global ESG Solutions Team to bring the bank’s extensive global experience and expertise in ESG finance to customers in MENAT.

The newly formed team will be co-led by Gareth Thomas, HSBC’s head of global banking in MENAT; and Daniel Howlett, HSBC’s head of commercial banking in MENAT.

To support customers in their transition to lower carbon emissions, HSBC is aiming to provide up to US$1tn of financing and investment globally by 2030, an unprecedented commitment that will help to build a thriving, resilient future for society and the economy.

In 2020, HSBC saw a six-fold increase in its sustainable and transition finance activity in MENAT over 2019, with the bank bringing a number of innovative deals to market. 

Most recently, HSBC played a key role in the issuance of the world’s first ‘transition’ sukuk, which was issued by Etihad Airways. The US$600mn raised by the airline will be used for energy-efficient aircraft and research and development into sustainable aviation fuel. The sukuk also included a commitment from the airline to pay a penalty in the form of carbon offsets if it fails to meet its short-term target to reduce the carbon intensity of its passenger fleet.

Meanwhile, in September 2020, HSBC helped Saudi Electricity Company raise US$1.3bn in the first public US dollar-denominated green issuance from the kingdom, and then a few weeks later Egypt, which issued the region’s first sovereign green bond.

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