A pre-summer bout of green, social and sustainability issuance from Germany’s federal states highlighted their burgeoning activity in the market as well as the environmental and social tasks they face. Representatives of the five Länder to have issued GSS bonds spoke to Sustainabonds’ Neil Day about their rationale for entering the market, what make their frameworks distinctive, and how their issuance is evolving in light of market and regulatory developments.
Berlin Hyp issued the post-summer reopening euro benchmark covered bond for a fifth consecutive year on Wednesday, and Bodo Winkler, head of funding and investor relations at the issuer, told Sustainabonds that interest in social bonds now appears to be almost on a par with green.
The expansion of green, social and sustainable or sustainability-linked formats into short term instruments has the potential to boost overall volumes and impact, and pioneers have already begun testing appetite in the commercial paper market. However, the sector’s intrinsic characteristics raise questions over how to best exploit its potential. In this special Sustainabonds report, sponsored by ABN AMRO, Neil Day explores experience to date and asks what could catalyse growth.
Issuers lacking projects appropriate to use-of-proceeds green bonds but with clear sustainability targets and transition strategies are increasingly finding sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) a viable alternative for reflecting their ESG ambitions in the capital markets. In this special report, sponsored by ABN AMRO, Sustainabonds’ Neil Day explores the surge in issuance and finds out what issuers need to be doing to win over investors.
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.
La Banque Postale inaugurated a green, social and sustainability bond framework last week and attracted twice as many investors to the EUR750m 10 year green senior non-preferred bond than its last conventional SNP. Issuance in social and covered bond formats is set to follow.
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.
Australia’s Westpac Banking Corporation will on Thursday begin a roadshow ahead of a planned debut euro green bond, while compatriot QBE will follow up its first green bond from the insurance sector with a gender equality US dollar AT1 deal.
The European Green Securities Steering Committee – an industry-wide committee jointly convened by the Climate Bonds Initiative and the European Covered Bond Council, with the support of the UNEP Inquiry – mapped its priorities for the coming 12 months at an inaugural meeting last Thursday (29 June).