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22 Jun South Korea’s Hana Bank, HIRA Expand Collaboration on ESG Practices
Hana Bank [004940:KS] and the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA), a government agency under South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, have agreed to expand their collaboration on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices in the public health care system and social welfare sector, as reported by the Korea Times on June 21. Specifically, Hana Bank will handle HIRA’s major banking transactions over the next five years, as well as provide financial assistance to public medical clinics and socially vulnerable communities in Gangwon Province. The lender and the health service evaluation agency will also collaborate on programs to promote rural development and subsidize socially responsible enterprises.
Banks and enterprises in South Korea are collaborating to produce social value as ESG awareness increases globally. According to fund assessment agency Morningstar [MORN:US], the total number of ESG funds worldwide reached 5,932 at the end of 2021, up 1,779 from the previous year, with funds from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea accounting for 5.7%. Although South Korean funds had a modest part of the market, they grew at the fastest rate with a 357% increase since the end of 1Q20. In May 2021, the Korea Development Bank announced its financing of KRW5tr (USD3.87bn) to Hanwha Corporation’s [00088K:KS] ESG-related projects over a five-year period. Consequently, Hanwha announced the establishment of a KRW100bn (USD774m) ESG fund alongside other corporations to support small and medium-sized green technology startups.