Berlin Hyp became the first European bank to have issued in green, social and sustainability-linked formats with the launch of a €750m 10 year mortgage Pfandbrief on Tuesday supporting affordable housing, and the bank plans to be a similarly familiar face in the social market as it is in green bonds.
Public sector issuers are at the forefront of green and social bond markets as they seek to support society in transitioning, justly, to a sustainable future. Demand is buoyant, supported by regulatory developments, but challenges remain, notably in determining appropriate standards on the social side. Sustainabonds gathered leading players to tackle the key issues facing the sector in a roundtable discussion finalised in mid-February.
Loans to local government bodies large and small are behind SFIL’s green bond issuance, and the French group anticipates complementing this with social lending, according to CEO Philippe Mills and colleagues.
Growth in sustainable covered bond issuance is expected to moderate this year after a doubling of such issuance in 2021, with constraints on appropriate assets holding back growth, and regulatory developments a mixed blessing for issuers hoping to tap into investor enthusiasm for such bonds.
Korea’s Hana Bank aims to build on its sustainable issuance in a variety of formats and currencies to reach KRW 25 trillion (€18.6bn) by 2030. Yoo-Na Ha, senior manager of ESG planning section, Hana Bank, spoke to Sustainabonds’ Neil Day about how green and social bonds reflect the group’s evolving sustainability targets and wider developments in Korean society.
A €500m seven year covered bond last month was the latest addition to social bond issuance inaugurated by Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) in May under the first such framework for a UK builder. Duncan Asker, director of treasury, and Richard Driver, head of financial structuring, at YBS told Sustainabonds’ Neil Day how the issuance carries the financial institutions’ “real help with real life” mantra into its funding.
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 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.