Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2023

Sustainability bond of the year - financial institution: Raiffeisen Bank

The debut sustainability bond issuance from Romanian lender Raiffeisen Bank SA (RBRO) secured the Sustainability bond of the year award for financial institutions, after being praised for its ground-breaking role in the domestic capital market and commitment to social projects.

Christina TycaThe five-year RON500 million ($110 million) bond issued in August 2022 was the first sustainability bond from a Romanian issuer, and followed RBRO – which is a subsidiary of Austrian banking firm Raiffeisen Bank International – issuing the first Romanian green bond in May 2021.

One Bond Awards judge praised RBRO for taking a "leading" role in sustainability bond issuance in the country, with another judge also highlighting that the deal stood out for its significant focus on social activities and "strong" impact reporting.

Under the sustainability bond framework published by RBRO in April 2022, the bank has committed to allocating at least half of the proceeds from its sustainability bonds to social projects.

RBRO told Environmental Finance the expansion of its green bond programme to include social elements reflected its intention to support the continued growth of green investment whilst also reflecting that the current economic and social context marked by financial and geo-political crises has "urged the implementation of the new categories that will incorporate the humanitarian impact component and supply chain disruption".

According to Environmental Finance Data, RBRO has now raised more than RON3.3 billion from sustainable bonds to date – including RON1.2 billion from sustainability bonds after two further issuances in October and December 2022, and RON2.1 billion from green bonds.

Deal highlights:

Issuer: Raiffeisen Bank Romania
Size: RON300 million ($110 million)
Maturity: 17 August 2027
Coupon: 8.92%
Use of proceeds: Access to essential services; Affordable housing; Clean transportation; Eco-efficient products, production technologies and processes; Employment generation including through the potential effect of SME financing and microfinance; Energy efficiency; Green Buildings; Pollution prevention and control; Renewable energy; Sustainable water management
External review: Sustainalytics
Credit rating: Baa3 (Moody's)