Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2021

Green bond of the year - local authority/municipality: MuniFin

Caroline HaasMuniFin issued its fifth green bond – and its third that was euro-denominated – for €500 million ($587.9 million), as part of a sustainable finance drive that sees it aim to boost the proportion of its loan portfolio that is labelled green and social to 20% by 2024.

This issue takes the Finnish financial organisation's euro green bond balance to €2 billion. As a 100% public sector owned organisation that lends exclusively to Finnish municipalities, the bond's proceeds are being used in line with its Green Bond Framework, which it updated in 2019, after initially being published in 2016. The main updates include strengthening the project category requirements for sustainable buildings and allowing category-specific green bonds.

Second opinion provider Cicero has awarded MuniFin's Green Bond Framework with its 'Medium Green' rating.

“We are delighted and honoured to win this award, which is highly valued by market participants. This award is a testimony about our long-term commitment in the field of sustainability. Our ultimate goal is to promote Finland’s climate targets, where local governments play key role”, said Antti Kontio, head of funding and sustainability at MuniFin.Antti Kontio

"We're excited for our customer MuniFin and congratulate them for winning this prestigious award," said Caroline Haas, head of sustainable finance, financial institutions and sovereign, supranational and agency at NatWest. "As a leader in sustainable lending, MuniFin has set a goal to incorporate 20% green and social financing within its loan portfolio by 2024, and we're proud that we helped make a difference in delivering this highly successful green bond, playing a key role in attracting a high percentage of environmental, social and governance (ESG)-focused investors, a result of working ever more closely with the ESG analyst community and deepening relationships."

As well as representing the largest oversubscription of any MuniFin issuance, at 6.7x across 107 investors, the deal also saw the largest allocation to green investors, at 55%, of any issuance from the company.

Deal Highlights

Issuer: MuniFin
Size: €500 million ($587.9 million)
Maturity: 14 October 2030, 10 years
Coupon: 0%
Use of Proceeds: Renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable public transportation, sustainable buildings, waste management, water and wastewater management, as well as environmental management
External Review: Cicero
Lead managers: Danske Bank, NatWest, Nomura, Nordea
Credit rating: Aa1/AA+ (Moody's/S&P – both stable)
Other highlights/notable features: Goal of 20% of its loan portfolio to be labelled green and social finance by 2024