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Austin Coughlan, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (left) with Colin Hunt, Managing Director of AIB Wholesale Institutional & Corporate Banking, Paul O’Donnell, Partner of Greecoat Capital, Ronan Murphy, Chairman of Greencoat Renewables Plc., Bertand Gautier, Partners of Greencoat Capital, Investment Manager, Aileen O’Donoghue, Director of Strategy Policy and Communications and Terence Liston, Director of AIB Development Capital (right), pictured at the ringing of the bell at the Irish Stock Exchange this morning as trading began for Greencoat Renewables Plc.on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and the ESM market of the Irish Stock Exchange. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Ireland’s green finance hub builds out a solid reputation thanks to two big developments

Two key developments will dramatically enhance Ireland’s international reputation as a Green Financial Centre of choice.

That’s according to the body under IFS2020 tasked by the Government with positioning Ireland as a green finance hub – and financial and professional services firm KPMG.

This week, Greencoat Renewables plc confirmed it has successfully raised €270million as part of their initial public flotation. The stock now trades on the Irish Stock Exchange with effect from Tuesday, 25th July 2017.

Greencoat is the first renewable energy infrastructure company to list on the Irish Stock Exchange, and the first Euro denominated renewable energy infrastructure company to list on the London Stock Exchange, highlighting increasing cross-border green finance activity between Ireland and the U.K.

The launch has been highly successful and it is likely to encourage other companies to follow the listing route in Ireland particularly in a turbulent post-Brexit environment. It adds to the near $14billion in green and climate aligned bonds already listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Separately, the Government has announced the updating of Ireland’s limited partnership legislation.

The process will make it easier for renewable and other environmental related infrastructure funds to do business in Ireland – they typically structure their investments through limited partnerships but due to Ireland’s outdated partnership law, had been unable to do so through Ireland until now.

The reforms will mean Ireland’s laws are brought into line with limited partnership models that prevail internationally.

This is a highly significant development which will offer a considerable incentive to the Irish investment management industry, not least a growing green finance asset management cluster in Dublin and Cork.

International financial services minister Michael D’Arcy believes the new law will help attract five per cent of the $3.3 trillion global private equity market to Ireland within five years.

It could bring $165 billion in funds and create 1,500 jobs. Many of those could be in green funds given the accelerating global investment shift to low-carbon assets.

Commenting on the developments, Mr. Stephen Nolan, CEO of Sustainable Nation Ireland, said: “These developments will encourage funds to view Ireland as an ideal location to establish such vehicles in the future.

“This will complement the many existing investment funds in the Green/cleantech area which have already established in Ireland using many different types of investment structures.

“Sustainable Nation Ireland welcomes the initiative shown by the Government in bringing Ireland’s partnership legislation in line with the international norm. It augers well for 2018 which has been heralded by the Government as the Year of Sustainable Business.”

Mr. Mike Hayes, head of Renewable Energy in KPMG, said the Greencoat Renewables listing plus the reform of Limited Partnership law would significantly enhance the collective efforts of industry and Government to further underpin Ireland’s emergence as a leading global Green Financial Centre. Mr. Hayes added: “This is not surprising, given the fact that Ireland has the combination of expertise across the green and cleantech areas, generally coupled with a highly sophisticated Investment Management industry.”

“The limited partnership model is well known to global investors. We expect to see significant growth in this area as a result of these changes. With considerable effort having been put into the development of Ireland’s green finance eco-system these last few years, Ireland is now well positioned to add to a growing cluster of activity further underpinning Ireland’s role as a leading green finance hub.”

Commenting on the Greencoat listing, Mr. Austin Coughlan, Senior Investment Manager, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund said: “The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, as a €76m cornerstone investor is delighted to have enabled the establishment of Greencoat Renewables PLC, Ireland’s first listed renewable energy infrastructure company. As we estimate Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy will require in excess of €40 billon of new capital investment by 2050, ISIF are committed to backing initiatives such as Greencoat Renewables PLC that have the ability to draw significant private investment into the Irish renewable energy sector.”

Picture: launching Greencoat Renewables IPO on the Irish Stock Exchange representatives from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, AIB, Greencoat Renewables PLC and the Irish Stock Exchange.

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