Award for innovation - bond structure (sustainability bond): Rabobank

Rabobank drew up an updated Sustainable Funding framework in September.

It was innovative in that it introduced the concept of sub-frameworks focusing on four areas – Renewable Energy, Sustainable Real Estate, Healthcare and Care Facilities, and Covid-19 Crisis Support for SMEs – to provide investors with greater transparency upfront about how the proceeds will be allocated.

These sub-frameworks each relate to several UN Sustainable Development Goals. The sub-frameworks are also aligned with the EU Green Bond Standard as well as the EU Taxonomy.

It was under this framework that Rabobank launched its first dollar-denominated sustainable bond, raising $1 billion, making the issue its largest ever sustainable bond. With an orderbook of more than $2.1 billion from more than 100 accounts, the bond, which had a six-year maturity but was callable after five years, had a coupon of 1.004%.

The proceeds will be used to finance a loan portfolio of new and/or ongoing renewable energy projects, under the renewables sub-framework.

One of the Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges said: "Aligning issuance to thematic sub-frameworks improves transparency and accountability and created more targeted investment opportunities for investors. The clear upfront commitments around impact reporting help this transaction stand out."

Deal highlights

Issuer:  Rabobank
Size:  $1 billion
Maturity:  Six years, callable after five (6NC5)
Coupon:  1.004%
Use of Proceeds:  To finance a loan portfolio of new and/or ongoing renewable energy projects, under the renewables sub-framework
External Reviewer: ISS ESG
Lead Manager:  Barclays, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Rabobank and TD Securities
Other highlights/notable features:  Issuing under an updated sustainability bond framework that has four sub-frameworks