Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2021

Exchange of the year: Luxembourg  Stock Exchange and Luxembourg  Green Exchange

Julie BeckerLuxembourg  Stock Exchange was crowned Exchange of the year for the fifth year in a row.

2020 was another year of growth and development for Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), part of Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

In a year in which green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked (GSSS) bonds saw rapid growth in the wake of the pandemic, the exchange welcomed 366 new green, social and sustainability bonds, including from new sectors such as telecommunications and automotive companies. The additional €186 billion ($220 billion) of bonds displayed on LGX in 2020 brought the total to €388 billion.

New listings included Europe’s first sovereign sustainability bond – a €1.5 billion bond from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to finance electric public transportation and hospitals – and the European Commission’s first-ever social bond issued under its EU SURE programme, which aims to safeguard jobs and fight the rising unemployment in European countries stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU had issued €53.5 billion under this programme by January 2021, all listed in Luxembourg.

Between April and September, the exchange listed €17 billion of social and sustainability Covid-19 response bonds, mainly issued by major development banks to mitigate the social consequences of the pandemic. To support these efforts, it waived the listing fee for eligible, social and sustainability Covid-19 response bonds.

LGX also welcomed the first sustainability-linked bonds on its platform, from Chanel and LafargeHolcim.

Meanwhile, the exchange continued to build up the educational and information resources it offers. The LGX Academy launched in May 2020 sees its sustainable finance experts provide market professionals with the knowledge they need to accelerate sustainable finance.

September saw the launch of the LGX DataHub, a centralised database offering structured sustainability data on more than 3,000 sustainable bonds from more than 800 issuers, covering close to the entire universe of listed sustainable debt securities worldwide.

In November, the Solactive LGX Green Bond Impact Index was launched, in a joint project with index provider Solactive. It comprises a selection of green bonds displayed on LGX.

One of the Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges praised what they described as the “very comprehensive programme to support sustainable finance”.

Julie Becker, deputy CEO of Luxembourg Stock Exchange and founder of LGX, said: “To win the Exchange of the Year award for the fifth consecutive year is a tremendous honour for the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and all our teams.

“This recognition strengthens our commitment to accelerate our contribution to the achievement of the sustainable finance agenda and address the global goals for sustainable development. On behalf of LuxSE, I want to thank our issuers, impact-conscious investors, and everyone who is making finance part of the solution. The future of finance must be sustainable!”