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BNP Paribas launches €500m inaugural green bond

The French bank is increasing its exposure to clean energy projects and wants to be a global leader in the green bond market.

BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, has priced its inaugural green bond at €500 million, citing strong initial demand from investors.

BNP Paribas said the net proceeds of the bond issue will be allocated for financing or refinancing projects including renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass and public transportation, water management and treatment and recycling.

“The launch of our inaugural green bond today amplifies our commitment to sustainability and to supporting projects which have a positive impact,” said Michel Konczaty, deputy chief operating officer at BNP Paribas. “We look forward to working together in continuing to deliver market based sustainable solutions which help us and our clients meet social and environmental challenges.”

The green bond issuance comes after BNP Paribas committed last year to increasing clean energy investments. It said it would double its exposure to renewables, from €7.2 billion in 2015 to €15 billion in 2020. It also said it aims to become one of the top three global players in the green bond market.

BNP Paribas will have to contend with Bank of America Corporation, which earlier this month issued a $1 billion green bond, the largest offer for the US lender and its third in as many years.