Clive Kerner has been CEO of Clifford Capital since its inception in 2012. He has over 30 years of experience in infrastructure finance in investment banking and as a CEO. Clifford Capital is a specialist provider of structured finance solutions for Singapore based companies in support of their overseas investments as experts in the infrastructure and maritime sectors. Clifford Capital also supports Singapore as an infrastructure financing hub and in 2018 completed Asia’s first securitization of project finance loans.
Kiyoshi Nishimura is the CEO of Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), a multilateral guarantee facility established by the ASEAN+3 countries and ADB to promote local currency bond markets in ASEAN countries. He previously worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as acting director of its Financial Institutions Business Group, and held senior positions at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Export-Import Bank of Japan, and the International Monetary Fund.
Katharine Tapley is head of sustainable finance at ANZ, overseeing debt financing involving climate-aligned projects and sustainable finance, including green bonds. She joined ANZ in 2001 and has undertaken various roles in markets, transaction banking, and specialized lending across commodities, structured trade, project and export finance, and green financing. She has been a member of ANZ’s sustainable finance solutions team since its formation in 2014, and has headed the unit since 2016.
Steve Garton is Asia bureau chief at IFR, where he is responsible for all editorial content in the Asia and Pacific region. He is based in Hong Kong and leads a team of reporters in Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney, focusing on capital market financings across the region. The International Financing Review (IFR) is published by Refinitiv, formerly the financial and risk division of Thomson Reuters.
The seminar tackled one of the hottest topics in the international capital markets, where sustainable finance is drawing a growing following in various forms—from green, sustainable, and social bonds to sustainability-linked loans.
This year’s annual meeting host, Fiji, made an ideal backdrop for the discussion, as a vulnerable Pacific Island economy and one of the few countries to have issued green bonds, tapping an increasingly popular funding tool to raise awareness and promote its own sustainability credentials. The Climate Bonds Initiative puts the global market at a size of $521bn at the end of 2018, with Asian issuance up 35% in 2018. ADB itself is one of Asia’s biggest green issuers.
The panel provided an update on efforts to stimulate Asia’s capital markets to support resilient and sustainable infrastructure, connecting private sector investors and development finance opportunities.
Delegates heard firsthand of the challenges in creating Asia’s first securitization of project loans from the head of Singapore-based Clifford Capital, which is working on a follow-up to 2018’s landmark deal.
The audience also got an early introduction to plans for a new ASEAN-backed fund to promote long-term local-currency funding for infrastructure assets. Endorsed by ministers only two days earlier, the concept of an Infrastructure Investors Partnership aims to ensure project-related loans and bonds to make it easier for Asian infrastructure owners to access the capital markets. It will also raise finance from institutional investors in developed markets, most likely Japan.
The seminar proved a timely addition to the ADB’s efforts to deepen the region’s markets and provide more local currency funding for its borrowing clients: days later, the ADB announced plans to issue its first bond in Fiji dollars.