14 Jan 2021

Link REIT Secures its First Sterling-denominated Sustainability-linked Loans with BNP Paribas and DBS

  • £200 million loans to match the currency of Link’s first acquisition in the UK
  • Link is eligible for interest savings if it achieves sustainability milestones

Hong Kong, Singapore – Link Asset Management Limited (Link), the manager of Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT; Hong Kong stock code: 823) announced that Link has converted two five-year loans totalling £200 million signed with BNP Paribas and DBS Bank (DBS) respectively in August last year to sustainability-linked loans. This marks Link REIT’s first sustainability-linked loan denominated in the Pound Sterling.

In August last year, Link signed two loans in Pound Sterling separately with BNP Paribas and DBS to partially finance its acquisition of The Cabot, Link’s first asset in the UK. The Cabot is a premium grade A office property located in the Canary Wharf, London and is rated as “Very Good” by BREEAM UK. The proceeds of the loan will be used for general corporate funding purposes including sustainability initiatives. With the conversion of the loans to sustainability-linked loans, reductions in the interest rate will be offered to Link on a tiered basis subject to its performance in achieving sustainability milestones in order to incentivise sustainable practices.

Kok-Siong Ng, Link’s Chief Financial Officer, said, “The acquisition of The Cabot is part of our Vision 2025 growth strategy to diversify and improve portfolio mix. BNP Paribas and DBS have extended solid support in funding our pilot investment in the UK. The introduction of sustainability terms to the loans matches with Link’s Business as Mutual ethos and focus to enhance performance in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), helping us create long term values for our various stakeholders and communities.”

Hugo Leung, CEO of BNP Paribas, Hong Kong said: “As Europe’s leading bank, BNP Paribas is pleased to be involved in the financing of Link’s first investment in the UK. This is our first sustainability-linked loan facility with Link REIT, which will help to advance it sustainability agenda. We look forward to working closely with Link REIT to continue to support its efforts in ESG, and to evolve its businesses in the global transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Chew Chong Lim, Managing Director & Global Head of Real Estate, Institutional Banking, DBS, said, “DBS is delighted to walk alongside Link as it achieves yet another milestone in its sustainability journey. Having partnered Link for its maiden sustainability-linked loan in March 2020, DBS is delighted to now be part of Link’s first sterling-denominated sustainability-linked loan. We believe such deals will encourage even more companies in the real estate sector to explore financing solutions that incentivise sustainable development. We look forward to collaborating with more companies to drive the adoption of responsible financing practices for a more sustainable future.”

Link REIT is a constituent of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index, the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index and the FTSE4Good Index. These bear testament to Link REIT’s strong track record when it comes to sustainability.

Link, BNP Paribas and DBS are signatories to the United Nations Global Compact and are committed to driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in ways that are meaningful for their respective businesses. For DBS, this includes acting on climate change by partnering corporates in adopting responsible financing practices. Since 2018, DBS has concluded over 100 sustainable financing deals worth about SGD 17 billion.

BNP Paribas’ mission is to contribute to responsible and sustainable growth by financing the economy and advising clients according to the highest ethical standards globally. BNP Paribas embeds this approach to finance across all core businesses in Asia Pacific, empowering employees to develop financial innovations that build better, more inclusive and environmentally aware communities. 

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About Link

Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823), managed by Link Asset Management Limited, is a leading retail-focused REIT in the world. Listed in 2005 as the first REIT in Hong Kong, Link has been 100% held by public and institutional investors and is a Hang Seng Index constituent stock. From its home in Hong Kong, Link manages a diversified portfolio including retail facilities, car parks and offices spanning Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, London and Sydney. Link seeks to extend its portfolio growth trajectory and grasp expansion opportunities in different markets in pursuit of our medium-term target Vision 2025. For details, please visit https://www.linkreit.com.

About BNP Paribas in Asia Pacific (apac.bnpparibas.com)

In Asia Pacific, BNP Paribas is one of the best-positioned international financial institutions with an uninterrupted presence since 1860. Currently with over 18,000 employees* and a presence in 13 markets, BNP Paribas provides corporates, institutional and private investors with product and service solutions tailored to their specific needs. It offers a wide range of financial services covering corporate & institutional banking, wealth management, asset management, insurance, as well as retail banking and consumer financing through strategic partnerships.

Worldwide, BNP Paribas has a presence in 71 markets with more than 196,000 employees. It has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. Asia Pacific is a key strategic region for BNP Paribas and it continues to develop its franchise in the region. 

* excluding partnerships

About DBS

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 12 consecutive years from 2009 to 2020.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 29,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.

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