The NT$3 billion (US$101.62 million) of “green” bonds issued by textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp (FENC, 遠東新世紀) were yesterday listed on the nation’s over-the-counter bourse, marking the first “green” debt issued by a local private enterprise.
The company has been promoting the importance of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), aiming to develop a circular economy and reduce reliance on petrochemicals, FENC chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said at a listing ceremony in Taipei.
The “green” bonds, which have a maturity of five years with a fixed coupon rate of 0.95 percent, are to fund four differently focused projects, including the recycling of polyester materials and waterless dyeing technologies, FENC said.
The textile maker plans to build its second set of waterless dyeing equipment, which has begun to gain wide acceptance in the global garment industry, it said.
The proceeds from the bond sale would also be used to build a “green” building in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) and to improve the company’s existing polyester manufacturing processes to reduce the emissions of volatile organic compounds.
As a key member of Far Eastern Group (遠東集團), the textile maker also runs a real-estate development business and a mobile services business, including Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信).
Eco-friendly products account for nearly 20 percent of sales in FENC’s textile manufacturing sector, the company said.
The textile maker’s plan to issue “green” bonds came after two state-run companies — CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) and Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) — issued “green” debt in the second half of last year to fund their ongoing renewable energy projects.
Nearly NT$17.1 billion in “green” bonds — sold by the two state-run firms and six financial institutions — have been traded on the local bourse, according to data compiled by KGI Securities (凱基證券).
FENC’s efforts to promote “green” finance is expected to arouse the interest of more Taiwanese private companies, Taipei Exchange (TPEX) chairman Philip Chen (陳永誠) said.
“Green” bonds traded on the TPEX amounted to more than NT$20 billion last year and the scale is expected to double this year, Chen added.
The scale of “green” finance — which includes related bonds, bank loans and investments from insurance companies — is anticipated to reach NT$1.1 trillion in Taiwan this year, the Financial Supervisory Commission said.