Saudi’s PIF plans green debt issuance

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is set to issue its first green bond as part of a plan to put sustainability at the centre of its strategy.

In addition, Saudi Arabia intends to channel half of its investments into renewable energy projects, according to PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

“We will be the first sovereign wealth fund in the world to announce this green issuance,” said Al-Rumayyan.

“The kingdom aims to deploy 50% of its investments in renewable and sustainable power sources, more than two-thirds from investment,” added Al-Rumayyan, speaking at a forum held by the Future Investment Initiative alongside the United Nations General Assembly.

In comments reported by Reuters, the governor also revealed that the fund is working with global asset manager, BlackRock, on the creation of an ESG framework.

“We’re working with many partners from all over the world, domestically and internationally, to have a better ESG compliance in all the things that we do,” said Al-Rumayyan.

Part of this plan involves working with rating agencies to standardise their ESG rankings data and, over time, turning down investments with insufficient sustainability credentials.

The fund has more than $400 billion of global investments and has funnelled some of this capital into ESG themes in recent months.

One of its portfolio companies, Red Sea Development Company, recently secured a US$3.8 billion ‘green’ loan to develop new hotels powered by renewable energy.

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