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[67th Anniversary Special] KRX launches SRI bond information platform

The Korea Exchange’s Seoul office in Yeouido (KRX)
The Korea Exchange’s Seoul office in Yeouido (KRX)

In step with the global trend of sustainable investments, South Korea’s sole stock market operator has launched a platform that provides transparent information on socially responsible investment bonds.

The new Korea Exchange system is noted for its comprehensive function, providing all necessary investment information and statistics at a glance. Previously, investors needed to visit individual bond issuance websites.

Gaining popularity are SRI -- or socially responsible investment -- bonds that are used to fund eco-friendly or socially beneficial projects. They are also referred to as environmental, social and governance bonds, thematic and social contribution bonds or green, social and sustainable bonds.

Recently, these bonds have gained momentum around the globe amid rising demand for sustainability in corporate management and investment.

As of 2018, the aggregated value of issued SRI bonds came to $162 billion, nearly double from $85 billion in 2016, according to data from Bloomberg.

Domestically, the state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea issued the nation’s first green bond in February 2013. The increasing pace of SRI bond issuances has been especially conspicuous since 2018. As of Aug. 18, nearly 65.8 trillion won ($55.8 billion), in 426 SRI bonds, had been listed and traded here.

The KRX hopes for the segment to serve as an opportunity to revitalize the local SRI bond market.

“We expect the segment to add vitality to socially responsible investments by saving information searching time and effort,” a KRX official said, adding that the website also provides information in English for foreign investors.

“The service can further help bond issuers build credibility and raise funds by proving their bonds are officially eligible.”

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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