‘Groundbreaking’ $40 million green bond issued by Singapore’s Sindicatum for Indian PV projects

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Singapore-headquartered Sindicatum is an Asian developer, owner, and operator of clean energy projects. It intends to use the proceeds of the bond to finance renewable energy projects in India, and refinance existing debt.

Norton Rose Fulbright is calling the bond groundbreaking for a number of reasons, including the fact it is the first green bond issued in Indian Rupees by a Singaporean corporate, and the first international green bond issued under both the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN’s) Green Bond Standards, and the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA’s) Green Bond Principles.

It is also a debut international green bond in Asia, with a maturity of seven years, the longest dated global INR-denominated bond in Asia by a corporate, and the first international bond guaranteed by GuarantCo.

Dan Metcalfe, a Norton Rose Fulbright partner, comments, “This is a trailblazing deal for the green bond market in Asia. Bringing together market leading debt capital markets and green bond experience enabled us to assist longstanding client GuarantCo on its debut international bond guarantee.”

Norton Rose Fulbright’s leading debt capital markets team has advised on a number of green bond issuances, including the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), for the first green bond in Morocco.

Dharmendra Kumar, analyst, solar energy department of IHS Markit outlined the scarcity of funding in the solar sector. He tells pv magazine, “If we look at the renewable energy target, India has set the target of 175 GW by 2022. Even though the government has set yearly targets, and also dispensing budget through Central Finance Assistance program, green projects have always been delayed because of insufficient funding.”

Kumar continued, “To overcome this challenge and also get the funding at lower interest rates, Green bonds were introduced in India. Foreign investors with an objective of sustainable and renewable energy investment, are very much interested in India. It’s also a lucrative investment with guaranteed long-term returns for foreign investors.”

“Green bonds also come with the assurity of investment being used only for green projects. At the same time, it is beneficial for India because green bonds comes with low interest rates and long-term repayment scheme,” he added.

Kumar further mentioned that the Indian Railway Finance Corp. has already raised around $500 million with the help of foreign investors, by issuing green bonds in 2017.

Another Indian solar consultancy firm, Bridge to India has also praised the green bond investment market in India. Vinay Rustagi, MD, Bridge to India told pv magazine, “Green bonds are a very attractive route of raising capital for Indian institutions and developers.

“Worldwide, an increasing amount of capital is being committed to sustainable causes by institutional investors and the green bonds market is growing robustly. For Indian issuers, the benefits of accessing this pool of capital are widening of the investors base as well as reduction in cost of funding.”