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.
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.
Strong demand for a Covid-19-focused social bond from Crédit Mutuel Arkéa on Thursday allowed the French issuer to price its biggest senior non-preferred (SNP) transaction, a €750m nine year non-call eight deal whose proceeds are earmarked for supporting healthcare and SME development.
Caffil took advantage of an existing social bond framework to be the first-mover in Covid-19-related covered bonds on Tuesday, tapping into improving conditions to raise €1bn for lending to public hospitals ahead of an anticipated broader rise in French public spending and SFIL group funding.
Investors have rallied to a wave of social-style bond issuance from supranationals aligned with the issuers’ role in the fight against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing at the same time a tonic for ailing fixed income markets. Neil Day explores the trend and the potential for such bonds.
The broader sustainability strategies of green and social bond issuers and the impact of their issuance across a range of metrics are increasingly being focused on. Meanwhile, new varieties of sustainable bonds could yield benefits, but complicate the picture. Sustainabonds gathered leading public sector issuers and ESG-focused investors for a roundtable, hosted by SFIL, to discuss key developments.
November saw the inauguration of the SFIL green bond framework, with a covered bond from Caffil, as well as one of the sustainable projects it is helping finance. The group’s Philippe Mills and Sami Gotrane explain how green and social bond issuance reflect its public policy goals.
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.