Barclays launches Green Bond Index to meet ‘growing demand’



Barclays and investment firm MSCI have announced the creation of a new tool to expand environmental, social and governance (ESG) fixed income benchmark index group, for investors looking for projects with environmental benefits.

Institutional clients interested in bonds whose proceeds fund environmentally friendly projects, could now benefit from a new Green Bond Index and will have until the end of the July to give feedback on the product.

Brian Upbin, head of benchmark index research at Barclays, said, “With an increase in Green Bond issuance, we have seen demand from institutional investors for a new benchmark in this emerging and rapidly growing market.

“A Green Bond Index is a logical extension of the Barclays and MSCI fixed income index family that integrate ESG criteria in their design.”

Remy Briand, managing director and head of MSCI ESG Research, added, “MSCI ESG Research offers institutional investors an independent and objective evaluation of Green Bond securities with an aim to meet well defined criteria for Green Bond classification.”

Jim Glascott, global head of debt capital markets at Barclays said that it is estimated that around $100 billion of green bonds will be issued next year, up from $40 billion this year, meaning that the index could become an essential tool for investors to help the green bonds market evolve and become mainstream.

MSCI has recently looked at strengthening its environmental, social and governance (ESG), by acquiring GMI ratings, which provides ESG ratings and research to institutional investors.

The acquisition is expected to close later this year, with a cost of $15 million (£8.8m), and aims at putting the firm in a leading position in the field of ESG research.

Photo: Images_of_Money via Flickr

Further reading:

Church of England and MSCI team up for ethical investment screening

MSCI seeks to strengthen ESG investment research with acquisition

Unep: corporates and investors should join forces for sustainable business

London Stock Exchange joins UN sustainability initiative

Green bond investment forecasted to double in 2014


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