Linklaters advises Bank of China on Asia’s first blue bonds offering

On 14 September 2020, Linklaters acted as international legal advisor to Bank of China Limited (BOC) on the pricing of its US$942m equivalent dual-currency blue bonds offering, the proceeds of which will be used to support ocean-related sustainability projects. This offering marks the first blue bond issuance in Asia and the first global blue bond issuance by a commercial bank.

The issuance comprised US$500m three-year blue bonds, issued by BOC’s Paris branch and RMB 3bn two-year blue bonds, issued by BOC’s Macau branch. The US dollar denominated bonds are listed on the Euronext Access and the Renminbi denominated bonds are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The Linklaters team was led by capital markets partner Michael Ng and managing associate Allen Zhang, with support on the listing on Euronext from partner Véronique Delaittre and managing associate Antoine Galvier from the firm’s Paris office.

Linklaters is a long-term partner of BOC on its capital market transactions. The firm advised BOC on its first public SOFR-linked bonds in Asia last year and its first ever offshore SMEs themed Covid-19 impact alleviation social bonds, through the Macau branch, in February 2020. Linklaters has also advised on all of BOC’s offshore bond offerings under its US$40bn medium term note programme.