Head of Content – Singapore and Hong Kong
28+ years of experience
Previously, Michelle was IGM’s Senior Economist covering Australia, NZ and Japanese bond markets as well as the broader G7 spectrum and commodities.
Before joining IGM in April 2004, Michelle worked at IFR as the product manager and managing analyst for Asian Eye, a real-time screen product covering the domestic Asian bond markets.
When at IFR, she covered the Thai financial crisis and also published articles in the Wall Street Journal and for the Asian Development Bank. Michelle also worked in DBS-owned NDC Merchant Bank in DCM, where she was involved in the syndication and origination of Asian debt/equity deals.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Western Australia.
By Michelle Kwek 15 Oct 2021
Global issuance of green, social and sustainability bonds tracked by IGM remained robust, totalling USD 192bn on 270 tranches in Q3. Q3's ESG supply represented the 3rd highest quarter of issuance on record and the highest issuance for Q3 despite volumes stepping back from the record issuance seen in Q1 and Q2. In relative terms, the ESG issuance boom has in fact ensued and represented a record 18% share of total global issuance in Q3 versus 17% in Q2 and 16% in Q1. Green bonds dominated the scene in Q3 and represented an even larger 50% share of total ESG issuance at USD 97.11bn versus 43% or USD97.99bn in Q2. All major ESG types are on track for record issuance this year and have already surpassed all of 2020's supply. In terms of growth momentum, the clear stand-out is sustainability linked bonds where supply is now 10 times that of 2020. The 10 largest tranches in Q3 were predominantly from Europe or cross border* issuers of which all were SSAs. The largest ESG deal was however not in Euros but via the GBP 10bn raised from the UK's debut green gilt, which drew record demand of GBP100bn+ (including JLM interest of 10bn). Peak book GBP 100bn+. Regionally, ESG issuance now represents 26% of total European ESG issuance, 16% of APAC issuance and a near 10% of US issuance, with an increasing volume of corporates noted to be tapping the US ESG market.
By Michelle Kwek 19 Jul 2021
• Global issuance of ESG bonds tracked by IGM in the first half of 2021 surpassed all of 2020's issuance to total USD 474.79bn on 595 tranches. This compared to last year's ESG issuance of USD 468bn on 530 tranches. • Q2 ESG issuance came in a touch lower than Q1's record quarter issuance of USD 251.67bn at USD 223.11bn but still represented the 2nd largest quarter of ESG issuance per IGM's records and 97% higher than Q2 2020. • Green bonds remain the favored theme and comprised 44% of total ESG issuance over Q2 at USD 98bn versus 40% in Q2. • Sustainability-Linked bond issuance stood out in Q2 however with issuance surging to a record USD 26.28bn, more than the accumulated volume from when the 1st SLB was issued in Sep 2019 to end Q1 2021, of USD 15.789bn. • The 10 largest tranches in Q2 (and H1) once again came from Europe or cross border* issuers, of which the largest ESG issuer continues to be the EU via its SURE Social Bond framework. Consequently Euros, SSAs and Investment Grade proved once again to be the predominant currency, sector and rating categories of ESG issuances. • ESG now comprises around a quarter of all European issuance, led by green & social bonds. • Q2 ESG issuance by US issuers was the 2nd largest on record after Q1's record volume of USD57.74bn at USD 51.55bn and represents a 34% rise vs Q2 2020. Issuance in the US has gained four fold from Q2 2020 but still represents a mere 8% of US issuance volumes, signalling room for expansion. • China has leapt onto the ESG bandwagon and now represents the 4th largest global issuer ex supras after France, Germany and the US, with issuance from Chinese issuers surging 91% in Q2 vs. Q1 to USD 7.97bn and USD 11.47bn for 1H. From 2% this time last year, APAC US$ ESG issuance now comprises over 16% of all APAC US$ issuance.