The Royal Bank of Scotland Group issued the first bond from a UK financial institution aligned with the Social Bond Principles on 8 November, a €750m six year non-call five social bond with proceeds earmarked for SME lending in deprived parts of the UK.
DKB sold a four times subscribed €500m five year “blue” social Pfandbrief focused on water and waste water services on Wednesday, with the Eurosystem and SRI investors among those helping the German issuer achieve an “outstanding” deal, according to its head of funding and IR.
The only Fitch-rated covered bonds for which any ESG factor is positively credit-relevant are those of Aegon Bank and Panama’s Banco La Hipotecaria, according to the rating agency, which is disclosing “ESG relevancy scores” for credit ratings in a bid to increase transparency but found little impact across the asset class.
SR-Boligkreditt inaugurated a green bond framework with the first negative-yielding euro benchmark covered bond from the Nordics on Tuesday, while Sparebanken Sør Boligkreditt is set to follow with a green covered bond debut off the first Norwegian framework also targeting social goals.
Landesbank Baden-Württemberg inaugurated a social bond framework on 19 September, bringing its total sustainable bond issuance including green bonds to €3.7bn with a €500m senior non-preferred trade. The debut is the first social bond to be assessed against new ISS-oekom ESG KPIs for their contribution to related SDGs.
Asset growth, EU sustainable finance initiatives and pricing benefits could all help green bond supply rise to meet the growing demands of investors, according to speakers at an LBBW conference on 1 March, where a broadening of issuance, particularly into social bonds, was called for.
Caffil sold the first French covered bond in either green or social format on Tuesday, a EUR1bn eight year healthcare deal that drew over EUR2.6bn of orders and marginally outperformed the most recent comparable supply, according to a lead, while Moody’s said the ESG move is credit positive.
Caffil is roadshowing a social bond that is set to be the first social or green covered bond from France, with the proceeds refinancing loans to public hospitals, and the group plans to follow up the debut with green covered bonds later this year and potentially social issuance from parent SFIL.
Italy’s UBI Banca is holding a non-deal roadshow for a new sustainable bond framework next week, with Norway’s DNB also planning a new, non-covered green bond programme for 2019 and Austria’s RLB Oberösterreich considering such issuance.
Korea Housing Finance Corporation issued the first green or social covered bond from Asia and the first Korean euro covered bond on Wednesday, a EUR500m no-grow five year social issue that attracted EUR1.5bn of demand achieved the issuer’s goal of diversifying into European and SRI investors.