Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2021

Lead manager of the year, green bonds - US muni bond: Bank of America

Bank of America gained the attention of awards judges for its role in the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) issuance of the first US muni green bond to list on a European exchange from and for its role in the first green bond transaction from the City of Boston.

With its $342 million listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), SFPUC hoped to reach green and impact investors in Europe while setting the stage for the US municipal green bond market to follow suit

For the City of Boston, Bank of America supported the City's largest transaction to date and first negotiated transaction in over 10 years.

As part of the overall $272 million Boston general obligation transaction, the green bonds were issued to finance energy efficiency and climate resiliency projects and were structured as four, on‐the‐run serial bonds (worth about $6 million each) with tenors of 5, 10, 15 and 20 years respectively. Kestrel Verifiers provided a second party opinion.

According to Bank of America, the pricing strategy – which saw it also issue several unlabelled bonds with lower interest rates, of between 2% and 4% - resulted in the widest green bond pricing benefit on the 5% green bonds (3 basis points) in the US municipal market to date.

"We wanted to show that cities can get green infrastructure done cheaper with green bonds and make green bonds less a matter of policy preference and more a matter of good business," said Drew Smith, head of treasury for the City of Boston.

Other green US muni bond issuances that Bank of America was involved in last year include those issued by the Industrial Development Board (which raised $63.4 million), New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority ($900 million), New York State Housing Finance Agency ($78.5 million) and San Diego County Water Authority ($400 million).