The World Bank has hit new heights in bond issuance since the start of the pandemic, as investors have supported IBRD and IDA in the task of alleviating Covid-19’s social and economic damage. Heike Reichelt, head of investor relations and sustainable finance, World Bank Treasury, spoke to Sustainabonds’ Neil Day about how its issuance is connecting investors with impact.
The first sustainability-linked bond (SLB) from a bank suggests the instrument can be a viable and attractive option for financial institutions committed to reaching climate-related and other targets. However, questions remain over its regulatory treatment, while data could pose challenges.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has helped shape sustainable bond issuance from its first Climate Awareness Bond (CAB) in 2007 to the recent arrival of the Taxonomy. Head of sustainability funding Aldo Romani and sustainability funding officer Johannes Heidbrink discussed the philosophy behind the supranational’s strategy and the latest market developments with Sustainabonds’ Neil Day.
Berlin Hyp became the first bank to issue a sustainability-linked bond (SLB) on Tuesday, 13 April, with a €500m 10 year senior preferred deal. Bodo Winkler-Viti, Berlin Hyp’s head of funding and investor relations, discussed with Sustainabonds’ Neil Day the pioneering first issue, the rationale for adopting the new instrument and the bank’s choice of metrics, and how SLBs fit in with its green bond issuance.
A lack of data and confusion over standards could thwart EU Taxonomy-compliant green bonds with commercial real estate as their use of proceeds, according to speakers in a Berlin Hyp-CBI event, but the ambition of the European initiative was welcomed.
The Federal Republic of Germany took the green bond market to a new level on 2 September with the launch of its first green Bund. Ahead of Germany’s first green bond auction on 4 November, Deutsche Finanzagentur co-CEO Dr Tammo Diemer discussed with Sustainabonds’ Neil Day its twin bond concept, how the pandemic has affected its activity, and the arrival of the EU in the sustainable bond market.
Green and social bond markets have withstood and even grown on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rooted in their businesses and CSR strategies, an increasingly diverse range of corporates are approaching the market — at times branching out into new instruments. In this Sustainabonds roundtable sponsored by ABN AMRO, corporate finance and responsible investment professionals share their insights and opinions around the latest developments.
In response to the pandemic, Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has doubled its Social Inclusion Bond outstandings and added the health segment to its framework, while fast-tracking Covid-19-related support. Arturo Seco Presencio, deputy CFO, head of funding, treasury and ALM, CEB, discussed its rapid reaction and social bond trends with Sustainabonds’ Neil Day.
North Rhine-Westphalia is the only German state to have issued sustainable bonds and is planning a seventh later this year. Axel Bendiek, head of treasury and investor relations, and Kirsten Häger, head of sustainable finance, at the ministry of finance of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), told Sustainabonds’ Neil Day how transformation towards a more sustainable economy underpins its strategy.
The European Stability Mechanism is ready to issue social bonds for the first time should any euro area member state apply for Pandemic Crisis Support under a €540bn EU safety net. ESM head of funding and investor relations Siegfried Ruhl spoke to Sustainabonds’ Neil Day about how the instrument befits its latest role and builds on its broader ESG efforts.