Africa-Press – Mauritius. Government has placed high on its agenda the positioning of the Mauritius International Financial Sector as a Sustainability Hub of Africa and to spearhead Environmental, Social and Governance engagements in the region.
The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, made this statement, today, during an ‘Awareness session on the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Guidelines on the issuance of Green Bonds’, held at the FSC House in Ebène.
The Chairman of the FSC, Mr Mardayah Kona Yerukunondu, the Chief Executive of the FSC, Mr Dhanesswurnath Thakoor, and other personalities were present at the awareness session. Minister Seeruttun highlighted that Government Programme 2020 laid emphasis on the need to ensure sustainability and responsible investment.
“These goals,” he pointed out, “are expected to be achieved through a new development policy based on four pillars, namely: Investment in clean energy; Shifting to a cleaner and greener Mauritius; Mitigating risks from climate change; and Protecting our marine resources.
“As such, this awareness session comes at an opportune time as it will enable relevant stakeholders to continue to work together and take the country’s financial services sector and the Mauritius International Financial Centre to greater heights,” he affirmed.
The Minister recalled that, as announced in Budget 2020-21, the decision to issue Green Bonds was a reflection of Government’s strong commitment to accelerate investment in clean projects.
According to him, this implied mobilising capital and channelling them to new investments in clean businesses, technology, and infrastructure, while at the same time creating greener jobs.
“As such, Green Bonds are an important proposition on the menu of financial instruments available in Mauritius,” he added. Furthermore, Minister Seeruttun indicated that a technical committee worked on the Guidelines of the Bank of Mauritius on sustainable bonds.
“From these Guidelines stemmed the allocation of responsibilities between the Bank of Mauritius for issue of sovereign green bonds whilst the FSC has the responsibility to issue the Guidelines for Green Bonds for Private Issuers”, he stated.
He also commended CIM Financial Services Ltd as the first Green Bond issuer in Mauritius and stressed that while public funds were important, they could only provide a small share of what was required.
“This,” he said, “means that private capital will have to meet most of the investment needs.
For his part, the Chairman of the FSC observed that green bonds offered investors a platform to engage in good practices, providing a means to hedge against climate change risks while achieving at least comparable, if not higher returns on their investment.
He added that global sustainability issues were intrinsically linked to innovative capital market products like green bonds, social bonds, renewable energy investments and sustainable funds.
As for FSC’s Chief Executive, he underlined that it was not surprising that sustainable finance and Green Bonds had become one of the main focuses of policy makers, market intermediaries and governments. He reminded that at the level of the FSC, work on green finance started two years back when it became the signatory of the Marrakech Pledge.
He further underscored that FSC Guidelines supplemented the Guide issued by Bank of Mauritius by providing various regulatory requirements to be met by the Issuers in line with international best practices for the issuance of Green Bonds.
“The publication of the FSC Guidelines,” he stated, “marks another milestone in making Mauritius a capital markets destination and a more attractive jurisdiction to our neighbours in Africa.”