The European Union issued its first green bond to unprecedented demand yesterday (Tuesday), raising €12bn in the largest green bond ever, a 15 year deal that attracted over €135bn of orders, representing an endorsement of the Commission’s ESG direction.
NN Investment Partners’ green bond offering has this year been boosted by an increase in sovereign activity, while social developments may have opened a gap in the market, according to Douglas Farquhar, client portfolio manager for green bonds, NN IP, even if its reservations about sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) persist.
Moody’s has raised its full-year forecast for sustainable bond issuance on the back of record volumes globally in the first half of the year, and now expects 2021 supply of labelled use-of-proceeds bonds and sustainability-linked bonds to approach $1tn.
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.
From oil and gas companies escaping exclusion via sustainability-linked bonds, to sovereigns offering greater liquidity via green bonds, Actiam head of fixed income Mehdi Abdi is heartened by key developments in sustainable bonds – although issuers may find him increasingly picky.
The first update to the Green Bond Principles (GBP) since 2018 was issued on Thursday, including formalising recommendations that bond frameworks and external reviews be used, and a recommendation of heightened transparency around issuer-level sustainability aims.
Eika Boligkreditt sold its first green bond on Tuesday, with the green element and a defensive approach contributing to a successful outcome in an uncertain market, according to an official at the Norwegian issuer, whose framework tackles taxonomy alignment and reflects green progress in the Eika Alliance.
Belfius inaugurated a green bond framework last Tuesday with a €500m six year senior non-preferred (SNP) issue and achieved a “greenium” of several basis points, according to lead bankers, as banks took advantage of strong demand for green bonds to tap the euro market for SNP and Tier 2.
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.