responsAbility-managed debt fund provides crucial funding to catalyse first green leasing options for electric buses in China

Lionbridge receives USD 18 million debt financing from responsAbility

March 20212 min read

Zürich March 2021 — Lionbridge Financial Leasing (‘Lionbridge’), the largest triparty bus financial leasing company in China, has completed USD 18 million in debt financing from responsAbility Investments, which will serve as critical funding to begin generating green assets. Lionbridge is the first non-bank financial institution (NBFI) to provide financial leasing options for electric buses, and this is also responsAbility’s first investment in the leasing segment in China.

With over 340,000 SME and individual clients, mostly from rural areas, Lionbridge has a strong track record in the Chinese leasing sector and is backed by robust shareholders and leaders who have supported solid growth. It is currently specialized in commercial vehicles leasing with a focus on logistic trucks catering to the e-commerce sector. This sector has seen impressive growth in the past few years in China, as consumer shopping behavior shifts from retail stores to e-commerce. By expanding its business into the green leasing sector, it hopes to catalyze the green leasing business across the entire country.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and responsAbility, along with two other partners, participated in this transaction, where it is important to note that the funds are strictly earmarked for eligible electric vehicles loans. As an asset manager focused exclusively on sustainable investment, responsAbility is keen to recognize and support Lionbridge’s effort to focus on green lending.

Said Quang Duy Bui from responsAbility, “This is an exciting time to be investing sustainably in China. The market potential is huge of course, but so is the opportunity to see real impact towards a greener economy.” He added, “As this is our first investment in this sector, we hope that this can serve as the basis for further similar investments in China in the future.”

responsAbility has invested over USD 11 billion in emerging markets since 2003, and as an impact asset manager, primarily focuses on climate finance, sustainable food production, and financial inclusion. It works closely with players in local markets, as it maintains eight offices around the globe, in order to strategically take steps to contribute to reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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