Acuon Capital, a South Korean consumer finance and leasing company owned by funds affiliated with Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), has issued its first-ever ESG bonds worth 140 billion won (US$127 million). The proceeds will be used to fund loans that have a positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact.
The issuance makes Acuon the first Korean A0-rated capital company to issue an ESG bond in the country. The bonds were priced on average 18bp lower than other A0-rated capital companies, with longer dated maturities of 3.25-3.5 years, and have attracted a wide range of quality investors.
Under the deal, Acuon will be required to measure and report on an ongoing basis as part of the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) Green Bond Principles of June 2018, Social Bond Principles of June 2020, and Sustainability Bond Guidelines of June 2018.
In particular, the proceeds of the bond will be used to invest in and lend to corporates, businesses, and projects in renewable energy and efficient technology, environmental pollution protection and management, environmentally friendly transportation and infrastructure, and sustainable water and natural resources.
Acuon's consolidated operating and net income for 2020 rose by 21% and 11%, respectively, from a year earlier.