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Amundi gives bond warning to State Bank of India over coal mine

Fri 27th November, 2020 4:54pm
LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Amundi  AMUN.PA  said it has
warned the State Bank of India  SBI.NS  it will evict one of the
lender's green bonds from a flagship fund if it helps finance a
coal mine in Australia that has met fierce opposition from
environmental groups.
    Amundi, which holds the bond in its Amundi Planet Emerging
Green One fund, said it had learnt this week that the Indian
bank was considering financing the Carmichael thermal coal mine
in Australia.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nIfp74Dzcm
    Carmichael has drawn strong opposition from climate
campaigners because of the potential carbon emissions that would
be produced by the mine, at a time when many countries are
exiting coal to help fight global warming.
    Under pressure from investors, a string of banks and
insurers have already cut ties to the project, with the most
recent being Lloyd's insurer Apollo.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2HJ5YL
    Amundi's Jean Jacques Barberis, Director of the
Institutional and Corporate Clients division & ESG, said the
asset manager had contacted the bank to voice its concern and
followed up with a letter to the management on Thursday.
    The Amundi fund - the largest aimed at green bonds in the
emerging markets - looks to invest in bonds that help fund
environmentally friendly projects, but also looks at the issuer
to make sure its other activities are "coherent".
    "We consider SBI should not finance this project. It's their
decision, ultimately, but we've been extremely clear on the fact
that, if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,"
said Barberis.
    Financing the mine would be in "total contradiction" to the
SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added. "We
have engaged SBI, asking them not to participate (in the
loan)... and now we are waiting for their answers."
    SBI was not immediately available to comment when contacted
by Reuters. The news was reported earlier by Environmental
Finance.

 (Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Louise Heavens)
 ((simon.jessop@thomsonreuters.com; +44 (0) 207 542 5052;
Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging:
simon.jessop.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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