OneADB Seminar

Digital Bonds for ESG Investing and the Future of Capital Markets in Asia and the Pacific

Saturday, 4 May 2024, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Radisson Blu Iveria, Ballroom 3

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Presenters

Bénédicte NolensHead of the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, Hong Kong Centre 

Bénédicte Nolens has a distinguished career in finance and innovation. She previously served as a managing director at SC Ventures, the innovation arm of Standard Chartered Bank that leads a series of ventures in digital banking, blockchain, and SME finance. She was the vice president of international government relations at Circle, head of risk and strategy of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, managing director at Credit Suisse, and an associate and executive director at Goldman Sachs. She holds LLM and MBA degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Leuven. She was a recipient of the China Daily Asian Women Leadership Awards for her efforts related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and charity.

Masanori YoshidaExecutive Officer, Global Chief, Japan Exchange Group, Inc. 

Masanori Yoshida started his career at the Japan Ministry of Finance in 1984. He previously worked in ADB, served as executive director for Japan at World Bank, and in IMF’s European Department as a mission chief. Mr. Yoshida holds an MPhil in economics from Oxford University, and was a visiting scholar at Harvard University.

Panelists

Rachel Esther J. Gumtang-RemalanteDirector, Corporate Governance and Finance Department, Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Rachel Esther J. Gumtang-Remalante played a key role in drafting financial regulations and representing the Philippine SEC in the ASEAN Capital Market Forum. Her leadership contributed to the SEC's recognition with ISAR Honours by UNCTAD in 2019 and 2022. Named one of Asia's Top Sustainability Superwomen in 2021, she is a respected speaker on sustainability and corporate governance. Ms. Gumtang-Remalante holds a law degree and a master in development management, with certificates in fintech and regulatory innovation.

Novira IndrianingrumHead, Issuer and Public Company Supervision Department, Indonesia Financial Services Authority, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan 

Novira Indrianingrum has been with Indonesia's capital market regulator, now known as Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, since 1993. Her professional career of almost 30 years has given her extensive experience in supervising accounting standards, corporate governance, enforcement, sanctions and appeal, corporate finance, and capital market support. In her current role, she has is responsible for sustainable finance and sustainability reporting. Ms. Indrianingrum holds an MBA from University of Denver, Colorado, US.

Giorgi LaliashviliHead of Financial Markets, National Bank of Georgia 

Giorgi Laliashvili has held various positions in the National Bank of Georgia, including specialist at the International Reserves Management Division, deputy head of the Risk Management Division, and head of the Macroeconomics Department. Mr. Laliashvili also headed the Financial Markets Department, covering portfolio management, risk management, international settlements, domestic monetary operations, and the Georgian Securities Settlement System. He has been actively involved in local currency, capital market development, and the implementation of initiatives supported by ADB and other international financial institutions in the local financial markets. Mr. Laliashvili holds a master’s degree from Georgian State University in banking and finance and an MA in Economics from Center for Development Economics, Williams College, US.

Natalie LerthatasilpCEO, Carbonwize

Natalie Lerthatasilp is a Thai startup entrepreneur who founded Carbonwize—a carbon management platform with the goal of making net zero achievable. Ms. Lerthatasilp helps companies assess their carbon emissions, plan for reductions, and access green financing. Her venture has been recognized by UNESCAP, the US Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology, and was showcased in COP28 and APEC 2023.

Masanori YoshidaExecutive Officer, Global Chief, Japan Exchange Group, Inc. 

Masanori Yoshida started his career at the Japan Ministry of Finance in 1984. He previously worked in ADB, served as executive director for Japan at World Bank, and in IMF’s European Department as a mission chief. Mr. Yoshida holds an MPhil in economics from Oxford University, and was a visiting scholar at Harvard University.

Moderator

Christine EngstromSenior Director, Finance, Sectors Group, ADB

Christine Engstrom is responsible for ADB’s finance sector operations throughout its developing member countries in Asia and the Pacific. Prior to joining ADB, Ms. Engstrom worked at Fannie Mae in Washington, DC as a senior manager in the Capital Markets Group. She has also held various positions at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the International Finance Corporation, supporting private sector investment in Asia, Turkey, and Eastern Europe.

The seminar highlights the important role of digital bonds in enabling the growth of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) capital markets. Real-life cases from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and JPX served as case scenarios regarding the applicability of digital technology in the ESG finance space.

The BIS presentation highlighted the role of tokenization/digitization in democratizing access to ESG investment through fractionalization, which increases access of retail investors to ESG investments through lower denomination and subscription amounts. The presentation also discussed how digital bonds can increase investment transparency and use of proceeds through smart contract-based credits attached to green bonds.

Similarly, the JPX presentation highlighted the role of technology in increasing transparency on the use of proceeds. The JPX presentation illustrated how digital bonds can be integrated with the Internet-of-Things and blockchain technology to automatically collect environmentally material data that ensures use of proceeds and eases the monitoring, reporting, and verification responsibilities of investors. Aside from data tracking, the nature of blockchain technology ensures faster transactions and greater security against cyber threats.

The roundtable discussed the potential benefits of digital technology in different jurisdictions with various levels of ESG development. Panelists noted that digitization facilitates the growth of ESG markets through increased market confidence from traceability and reliability of data. First, the traceability of digitized bonds can increase impact financing and shift the investor mindset from normal assets with higher ROIs to green assets with lower ROIs but higher environmental impact. Last, automation of data collection not only eases monitoring and reporting requirements but also eliminates the possibility of human error and costs associated with third-party verification.