The final EU Taxonomy delegated act looks set to prove accommodating to green covered bonds, with a new leaked version aligning with current market practice of the top 15% most energy efficient buildings, as originally recommended by the TEG, and other criteria also relaxed.
OP Mortgage Bank issued the first Finnish green covered bond yesterday (Thursday), a €750m deal with proceeds earmarked for energy efficient buildings that achieved a peak €1.6bn-plus book and the tightest 10 year spread since May 2019 – “a great outcome,” according to head of funding Tom Alanen.
The Association of German Pfandbrief Banks (vdp) has established minimum standards for Social Pfandbriefe, which build on existing green and social standards, and proponents hope they will encourage standardisation and provide impetus to the sector.
Hypo Tirol launched the first Austrian euro benchmark covered bond in social format last week, a €500m 10 year deal that the bank’s head of treasury deemed its “best ever”, as it achieved its biggest book and tightest spread while supporting affordable housing in the region. Green bonds are next on its agenda.
Crédit Agricole Italia sold the first Italian green covered bond on Monday, a €500m 12 year deal that achieved the tightest pricing of any Italian covered bond, and its head of financial management said the debut delivered on the French group’s ESG strategy and commitment to investors.
Caffil is posting levels for social bonds in private placement format, in what is understood to be a first for a covered bond issuer, with its funding team citing investor interest in such product, which it hopes will add “dynamism” to its MTN issuance at the long end of the curve.
Draft EU Taxonomy standards threatens to stymie green bond issuance to finance green buildings by limiting eligibility to those with EPC A labels, with one pioneering covered bond issuer floating a switch to KPI-linked bonds, although there are suggestions the Commission may be open to compromise.
Berlin Hyp achieved the highest bid-to-cover ratio of any German Pfandbrief this year on Tuesday when it reopened the post-summer covered bond market with its 10th benchmark green bond, a €500m 10 year deal launched in the wake of “ambitious” new sustainability targets, and followed it up with a Swiss franc debut on Thursday.
Sparebanken Vest Boligkreditt’s “360 degree” sustainability strategy was cited as helping attract investors to the Norwegian’s €500m seven year debut green covered bond on Wednesday (1 July), which was priced with a lower new issue premium than recent supply in the asset class.
Norway’s SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt sold the largest ever green covered bond new issue in the Swedish market yesterday (Tuesday), a SEK7.5bn five year FRN made feasible by the QE-inspired strength of the krona market and the attraction of the green element, which contributed to a SEK9bn-plus order book.