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Sustainable Bond Issuance Looks Bright

While market headwinds have dimmed the outlook for sustainable bond issuance globally, in emerging markets the prospects for new issue activity still look bright, says Moody’s ESG Solutions. It revised its forecast last month for global sustainable bond issuance down, citing factors such as geopolitical conflict, inflation, and rising interest rates, which are weighing on global growth. In the first quarter, global issuance of green, social, and sustainability-linked bonds was down 11 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2021 and off by 28 per cent from the same quarter last year. Yet emerging market sustainable bond issuance topped US$34 billion in the first quarter, up 22 per cent from the last quarter of 2021 and 13 per cent higher than the first quarter last year. Its report says that sustainability-linked bonds are emerging as “the instrument of choice” for many emerging market issuers, with new issue activity in the first quarter representing the second-highest quarterly total on record.

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