Lead manager of the year, sustainability bonds - bank: Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities (MUMSS) has secured the award for lead manager of the year for a sustainability bond from a bank, primarily following its key role in the JPY150 billion ($1.4 billion) Covid-19-focused note issued by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) in September 2020.

The deal – composed of a ten-year JPY54 billion and five-year JPY96 billion tranche – was the first sustainability bond issued by a private financial institution in Japan and the first bond targeting retail investors that included Covid-19-related use of proceeds.

With most Covid-19 bond proceeds raised through existing social and sustainability bond frameworks, judges were particularly impressed by the role of MUMSS in advising MUFG to explicitly target Covid-19-related funding through its job creation and healthcare categories of eligible projects in its updated sustainable finance framework in May 2020.

The MUFG sustainability bond was also the first ever retail bond with pandemic-related use of proceeds. Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges therefore also commended MUMSS for increasing sustainability awareness among retail investors through its role in structuring the bond.