Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Asset-backed/asset-based/covered social bond of the year: CFF

Compagnie de Financement Foncier (CFF), a subsidiary of French bank Banque Populaire Caisse d'Epargne Group (BPCE), issued its inaugural social covered bond to finance social housing and public health in France.

CFF says the bond is targeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 3 and 11, around poverty, good health and well-being and sustainable cities and communities.

The social housing element of the €500 million ($541 million) bond will be used for eligible loans for the acquisition of new and existing housing. The aim is to promote the availability of safe and affordable housing to those most in need.

For the public health component of the bond, its proceeds will go towards staff training, making medical treatments more accessible to all, promoting research for the development of new treatments and the improved provision of healthcare.

Paul Dudouit"Human Development for low-income populations has always been at the heart of CFF's mission," said Paul Dudouit, head of funding at CFF. "The positive feedback from the investor community for this inaugural social bond within the Group BPCE Framework shows that it is a key topic for investors and leaders in today's world."

"Great impact purpose, with a combination of impact on social housing and public healthcare infrastructure," commented one Sustainable Debt Awards judge.

Natixis CIB, another wholly owned subsidiary of Group BPCE, was joint and sustainability coordinator lead arranger on the deal, which received a €1.5 billion order book within 30 minutes.

Deal highlights

Issuer: CFF
Size: €500 million
Maturity: 2029
Coupon: 3.625%
Use of proceeds: Social housing, public healthcare
External reviewer: Vigeo Eiris
Lead manager: Natixis CIB
Credit rating: AAA (Moody's) / AAA (S&P) / AAA (Scope)
Other highlights/notable features: First BPCE bond to include social housing in its use of proceeds