Adds CFO’s comments, details of deal

MEXICO CITY, Oct 13 (Reuters)Mexican cement maker Cemex said in a statement on Tuesday that it has extended repayment dates on about $2.1 billion of credit and will prepay some $530 million in loans, as part of a so-called “green” financing deal.

Cemex also changed some $313 million of dollar-denominated credit to Mexican pesos and around $82 million to Euros in the deal, under which the company incorporated green metrics into approximately $3.2 billion of commitments.

Cemex said the transaction meant it had no important debt maturities through July 2023.

“We are pleased with this transaction, which allows us to improve our debt maturity profile and underscores Cemex’s commitment to sustainability as one of our key strategic pillars,” said chief financial officer Maher Al-Haffar.

The green metrics include reducing net CO2 emissions related to cement products and power consumption from green energy. Performance in respect to the metrics could result in adjustments of interest rate margins of up to 5 basis points, Cemex said.

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Anthony Esposito)

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SINGAPORE: Singapore’s first institute dedicated to green finance research and talent development was launched on Tuesday (Oct 13) by the Imperial College Business School and Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University (SMU).

The institute is supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and its launch was announced by the central bank’s managing director Ravi Menon during his keynote speech at the Financial Times’ Investing for Good Asia conference.

“MAS is committed to developing a vibrant green finance research and talent ecosystem in Singapore,” he said. 

“The Singapore Green Finance Centre will be an important part of this ecosystem.” 

Commentary: The world is hungry for green cooling solutions. Thankfully, Singapore is pioneering them

The finance centre will draw on the strengths of Imperial College and SMU in climate science, financial economics and sustainable investing, MAS said in a joint news release with the two schools. 

The centre will pursue research that helps “develop strategies for policymakers and financial institutions to support Asia’s transition to a low carbon future”. 

The research will focus on three main themes: Transforming businesses by integrating climate-related data and environmental, social and governance considerations into decision-making; designing policies and new initiatives that can improve the efficiency of green finance markets; and catalysing the development of green finance solutions.

The centre also aims to equip professionals with new skills and develop a strong pipeline of green finance talent. It will offer courses across various levels – undergraduate, post-graduate, continuing and professional education. 

The institute will be jointly led by Professor David Fernandez, director of the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at SMU, and Dr Charles Donovan, Professor of Practice and executive director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Recent uptick in rates might spell better times ahead for banks
  • Credit loss provisions still expected to weigh, but cost-cutting has likely helped
  • Housing market seen aiding Wells, while Citigroup’s
    C
    credit card business stays in focus

A lethal combination of ultra-low interest rates, credit worries, a steep economic slowdown, and tough government regulations ganged up on big banks this year. Despite that, expectations for the group’s Q3 earnings performance are on the rise.

Granted, the numbers don’t look like something to throw a party over, with research firm FactSet predicting cumulative Financial earnings to fall 19.4% from a year ago. The good news is that those expectations look a lot sunnier than where analysts were back in June, when they predicted a Financials Q3 earnings cratering of 34.4%.

Why the improvement? For one thing, many banks benefit from the energetic capital markets and the trading revenue they provide. Second, low rates have their good side, encouraging more loan activity.

Some of the big banks leading the upward earnings expectations meter include JP Morgan Chase
JPM
(JPM) and Wells Fargo
WFC
(WFC), FactSet reported. It appears likely they both could have relatively positive Q3 results despite all the headwinds they’ve faced and continue to face in this rough 2020.

The same goes for Citigroup (C), which, like JPM, is expected to report Q3 earnings early tomorrow. Those will be followed Wednesday morning by WFC.

Before zeroing in on individual banks, let’s scroll back for a broader view. Big banks haven’t performed well in the market this year, but they’ve generally done a great job setting aside money for possible credit losses and cutting costs. This could position most of them pretty nicely for any economic rebound once the pandemic passes.

That said, the credit

The business district in Brussels, Belgium. 

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The European Union wants to at least double the pace of renovation of homes and offices over the coming decade in a bid to save more energy and meet stricter climate goals under a sweeping green overhaul.

The Renovation Wave strategy, to be unveiled by the European Commission on Wednesday, will outline steps needed to accelerate upgrades of more than 200 million existing buildings — including insulation and change of heating equipment — at a cost of nearly 300 billion euros ($355 billion) per year, according to draft EU documents seen by Bloomberg News.

Explore dynamic updates of the earth’s key data points

Buildings account for more than a third of EU greenhouse-gas emissions, and improving their energy efficiency is a prerequisite for Europe to meet its Green Deal goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by the middle of this century. The EU regulatory arm in Brussels has a policy of not commenting on documents before they are made public.

“Building renovation represents an enormous opportunity not only for emissions reductions, but also economic growth and improved health and well-being,” said the Buildings Performance Institute Europe think-tank in Brussels.

The commission wants to increase the average rate of energy renovation to 2% per year by 2030 from the current 1%, according to the EU documents. That would mean upgrades of 35 million buildings over the next 10 years, a move that would not only benefit the environment but also create as many as 160,000 green jobs.

The initiative will be financed through the EU economic recovery program and various support instruments, including incentives for private investment. The commission wants to focus on cutting emissions from heating and cooling, tackling the most leaky buildings and

(Bloomberg) — HSBC Holdings Plc will aim to reach a net-zero carbon client portfolio by 2050 in a step to align its business activities to the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

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The London-based bank, which has previously come under fire for financing harmful environmental activity, also pledged to provide as much as $1 trillion over the next decade to assist customers in reducing their carbon emissions. It’s also committed to achieving net-zero emissions in its own operations and supply chain by 2030.

“As we enter a pivotal decade of change, we have a landmark opportunity to accelerate our efforts to build a healthier, more resilient and more sustainable future,” HSBC Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn said in a statement. “Our net-zero ambition represents a material step up in our support for customers as we collectively work towards building a thriving low carbon economy.”

HSBC follows JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s announcement on Tuesday that the U.S. bank is setting climate targets for its financing portfolio and planning a net-zero carbon footprint for its own operations.  Morgan Stanley said in September that it plans to eliminate net emissions from its financing activities by 2050.

HSBC also plans to work towards a “globally consistent, future-proofed” standards for measuring financed emissions and the carbon offset market. Other measures announced by the bank include regular disclosures on its progress and an assurance it will encourage its clients to do the same.  Earlier this year, HSBC launched a $1 billion asset management arm with Pollination Group, a climate change advisory company, to support investment in natural assets such as water, soil and air.

HSBC has come under sustained pressure from environmental groups after providing loans worth billions of pounds for companies involved in deforestation. It ranks as Europe’s second-largest financier of fossil-fuel