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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Mall operator Hammerson launches 700 mln euro sustainability-linked bond

(Corrects to say co is shifting existing debt profile, not cutting debt, in paragraph 1)

May 27 (Reuters) - Mall operator Hammerson on Thursday launched a real estate sustainability-linked bond of 700 million euros ($853.30 million) as it shifts the profile of its existing debt.

The offering follows Hammerson’s exit from the UK retail parks sector with a $459 million assets sale to Brookfield last month after reporting a 1.7 billion pound loss for 2020. It had also issued a longer-term debt warning.

Last week, British shopping centres returned to full operations after months of lockdowns and pandemic-related curbs knocked the value of malls amid widespread retail rent deferrals and declines.

“The linking of the bond to our sustainability targets brings a stronger alignment between our financial and sustainability goals,” Chief Financial Officer Himanshu Raja said in a statement.

Global green bond issuance reached a record high of $270 billion at the end of 2020 and could reach $450 billion this year, according to Climate Bonds Initiative.

Hammerson has set the target to get net positive for carbon, water, resource use and social impacts by 2030. ($1 = 0.8203 euros) (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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