Japan plans environment funds for Asia


Reuters, 9th January 2008

TOKYO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is in talks with Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and other financial institutions to set up environmental funds aimed at investing in projects to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Asia.

The total size of the funds could top $2 billion in five years, a JBIC spokesman said on Wednesday.

The government-owned bank has earmarked 15 billion yen ($137.3 million) for investment in such funds in the initial year, starting in April, as it plans to contribute about 10 to 20 percent of the total, he said.

Among possible investment targets are projects to clean air at coal-fired power plants and recover heat at steel mills.

JBIC plans to invest part of the budget in energy-saving projects planned by Japanese trading firms and others in Asia, though details have not yet been decided, he said.

Last September, JBIC, Mizuho Corporate Bank and a Chinese government financial institution signed an agreement to set up environmental funds. ($1=109.26 Yen) (Reporting by Yuko Inoue, Editing by Michael Watson)

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