A strong demand for responsible investing has continued to drive the issuance of green bonds, according to Refinitiv’s 1H20 Sustainable Finance Review.

The report, which was released on Monday, showed that a total of US$194.5 billion ($268.86 billion) worth of sustainable bonds were issued worldwide in 1H20, up 47% from the same period last year, and more than double the value recorded in 1H18.

In 2Q20, some US$130.9 billion worth of sustainable bonds were issued, which is more than double the value recorded in 1Q20. The amount also makes the highest quarterly total recorded since the review began in 2015.

sustainable bonds

The drive for responsible investing has also continued to propel the issuance of green bonds to some US$49.5 billion in 2Q20. The figure is the third highest quarterly total since 2015.

A total of US$77.7 billion worth of green bonds were issued globally in 1H20, which fell 13% y-o-y.

The number of sustainability bonds issued in 1H20 more than doubled from last year to US$56.7 billion, and the number of sustainable bonds increased 94% compared to a year ago.

By far, Europe is leading the way in sustainable investing with a 46% market share in 2020, compared to 32% in the Americas, and 16% in Asia Pacific.

For financial institutions, HSBC, Barclays, and JP Morgan made up the top three, with HSBC maintaining the top spot for sustainable bond underwriting with 6.3% market share, up 0.3% from last year.

equity markets

Sustainable lending for syndicated loans fell 2% y-o-y to US$79.1 billion in 1H20.

European borrowers, again, led the way with 63% of overall sustainable lending in 1H20.

BNP Parisbas maintained the top spot for sustainable syndicated lending in 1H20 with 6.3% of the market share, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, at 5.5% and 5.2% respectively.

Activity in equity capital markets for sustainable companies declined 21% y-o-y to US$4 billion in 1H20, which marks a two-year low, amidst increased volatility due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving sustainable companies came up to US$14.1 billion in 1H20, representing a slight increase y-o-y.


Sustainable deals dipped 5% y-o-y to 220 in 1H20, with China accounting for 20% of the total sustainable deal making activity, followed by the US at 9%, and India and Italy tied at 7%.

Asia Pacific (APAC) led the way accounting for 40% of deal making accounts for 1H20 by deal value, followed by Europe at 38%, and the Americas at 21%.