HSBC scoops seven bond awards

HSBC was victorious in seven Environmental Finance Bond Awards categories in 2021 – crowning a year in which it was involved in landmark deals by Novartis, Enel and the World Bank.

Its awards include Lead manager of the year, social bonds – supranational, sub-sovereign and agency – which recognised the bank's role in social bonds focused on addressing the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year HSBC advised issuers including the Nordic Investment Bank (€1 billion/$1.1 billion, three-year Covid-19 response bond) to help create new issuance frameworks to tackle the pandemic.

It also participated in deals that saw issuance frameworks adapted to play a part in the pandemic response. This included bonds from ICO (€500 million, 4-year social bond), Council of Europe (€1 billion, seven-year 'social inclusion' bond) and Kexim (€500 million, three-year social bond).

Meanwhile, it also picked up the award for Lead manager of the year, sustainability-linked bonds.

It was joint bookrunner or joint lead manager on sustainability-linked deals by Novartis (€1.85 billion, eight-year bond), Chanel (€600 million bond with six-year and eleven-year tranches), Enel (€500 million, seven-year bond), Etihad Airways ($600 million, five-year bond) and LafargeHolcim (€850 million, 11-year bond).

HSBC was also notably active in the corporate sustainability bond market. It was active bookrunner on telecommunications company Orange's inaugural sustainability bond, in a €500 million, nine-year deal.

It was also joint active bookrunner on sustainability bond transactions by Burberry (£300 million/$385 million, five-year bond), Clarion Housing (£300 million, 12 years) and Philips (€500 million, five years).

In the green bond market, HSBC won Lead manager of the year awards in both the sovereign and corporate categories. It was involved in green bonds issued by the Republic of Chile ($1.65 billion, 30 years), Indonesia ($2.5 billion, in five-year, 10-year and 30-year tranches) and Egypt ($750 million, five years).

In total, HSBC was involved in about $38 billion worth of green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bond deals last year, according to Environmental Finance's bond database.

Awards judges lauded HSBC as a "huge contributor to the development of the green, social and sustainability bond market; the scale of this is clear from the breadth of HSBC-originated green, social and sustainable debt in 2020".

Another judge praised the bank's "strong positive impact on market development, not only [in the] breadth of coverage of market segments but also advancing market pricing of green instruments".

Adam Bothamley, global co-head of debt capital markets at HSBC, said: "We are extremely pleased and grateful for the recognition."

Asked why he thought HSBC was successful in the awards, he said: "Having such a large, well-established SSA platform, which is where the whole topic of ESG issuance first gained momentum, meant that we were able to assist clients in the early days of the market. As the diversity of products and structures offered has grown, the number and breadth of clients using the instruments has grown.

"We have a very large client network, geographically and sectorally, across developed and emerging markets. That speaks to the emerging market space as well as the developed market space."

Farnam BidgoliFarnam Bidgoli, managing director and head of ESG solutions for the EMEA region at HSBC, added: "The market is diversifying in terms of format. We put a lot of resources and capacity into supporting that market development, not only in terms of support for our clients but also working in our capacity as a member of the Green Bond Principles Executive Committee.

"We contributed to the drafting of the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles (SLBPs), and we co-led the work on the Climate Transition Finance Handbook [published by the International Capital Market Association in December]. These guidelines provide issuers with greater clarity on what is needed to come to market, and as we saw with the SLBPs, ultimately facilitated issuance."

See box for a full list of HSBC's award wins.

Box: HSBC's 2021 Environmental Finance Bond Awards

Lead manager of the year, social bonds – supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (SSA) 
Lead manager of the year, sustainability bonds – corporate
Lead manager of the year, sustainability-linked bonds
Lead manager of the year, green bonds – sovereign
Lead manager of the year, social bonds – corporate
Lead manager of the year, sustainability bonds – supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (SSA)
Lead manager of the year, green bonds – corporate