Green bonds - asset-backed/asset-based bond of the year: Brighte Green Trust

Australian fintech firm Brighte Green Trust issued the country's first green asset backed security (ABS) with an A$190 ($147 million) bond issue.

Securitised by Australian solar and battery installation receivables the bond will finance solar and energy related assets, which are expected to save more than 360,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, the equivalent to over 65,000 homes.

Certified green by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), the bond was structured into seven tranches and as an inaugural issuer, having only been incorporated in 2015, Moody's applied a ratings cap of Aa2 (sf) to the senior notes.

The debut nature of the green ABS in a new territory impressed the Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges. One noted it had "clear [use of proceeds] UOP, [and was the] debut ABS issuance in Australia, setting an example for other fintech companies," while another added it was a "pioneering ABS using solar/battery assets in Australia, demonstrating that outside Europe, green ABS can also work."

Attracting 13 investors, most of which invested in multiple tranches, Brighte and lead manager National Australia Bank (NAB) agree with the judges that the transaction demonstrates green ASB can be a scalable source of funding for other fintech companies.

Deal Highlights

Issuer: Brighte Green Trust
Size: A$190 million ($147 million)
Maturity: September 2028
Coupon: 1.95% (for the senior notes and largest tranche worth A$164.8 million) 3%, 4%, 6%, 7.5% & 8.5% for the subsequent tranches
Use of Proceeds: Finance solar energy related assets
External Review: CBI
Lead Managers: National Australia Bank
Credit rating: Moody's Aa2 (sf) (for the senior notes and largest tranche worth A$164.8 million) A2 (sf), Baa1 (sf), Ba1 (sf), B1 (sf), for the subsequent tranches, with the final two not being rated