22 November 2017

Green bonds round-up, 22 November 2017

Manulife issues first green bond from a life insurer

Manulife has issued its first green bond which, as well as being the first from a life insurance company, is also the first Canadian issue to be certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative.

The S$500 million ($370 million) green bond, due 21 November, 2029, has a 3% coupon and will be listed on the Singapore Exchange.

DBS Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered were the lead managers on the offering.

Manulife's green bond framework, which aligns with the Green Bond Principles 2017, says the insurer intends to use the proceeds to finance or re-finance projects in the following categories: renewable energy, green buildings, sustainable management of natural resources and land use, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control, sustainable water management and clean transportation.

MTA set to issue biggest municipal green bond

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has released a preliminary official statement announcing plans to issue a $2 billion green bond.

The MTA is the leading municipal issuer of green bonds, and this issue would take its total issuance to $5.35 billion, according to Environmental Finance's Green Bond Database.

The bond has been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative and will be used to refund outstanding Transportation Revenue Bonds.

The lead underwriter is Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the co-lead managers are Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Williams Capital Group and PNC Capital Markets. In addition, the issue includes 20 joint co-senior managers.

The deal is rated AA+ by KBRA, AA- by Fitch, A1 by Moody's and AA- by S&P Global. http://www.greenbonddata.org/

Deutsche Kreditbank plans investments in green bonds

Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB), a retail and commercial banking subsidiary of Bayerische Landesbank, said it plans to start investing in green and sustainable bonds, starting with a green bond portfolio of about €200 million.

A key criterion for the portfolio will be compliance with the Green Bond Principles.

The bank has issued two green bonds itself in the past 18 months. The first, issued in June 2016 received a sustainability rating of 'A' from second opinion provider Oekom. The second, issued last month, was notable for the price tightening during bookbuilding.

Italian public sector sees first social bond

Italian investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) has issued the country's first public sector social bond.

The €500 million ($587 million) 'no-grow' deal matures in November 2022 and carries a coupon of 0.75%. It attracted an order book of more than €1.6 billion and the pricing tightened from initial thoughts of 'high 60s' basis points over the mid-swaps rate to a final spread of 57 basis points.

The proceeds will be used primarily to help Italian regions that are underperforming economically and those that are affected by natural disasters. Vigeo Eiris provided a second opinion on the bond framework.

Bookrunners on the transaction were Barclays, Credit Agricole CIB, Citi, HSBC, Societe Generale CIB and UniCredit.

More than 150 investors bought the bond, with fund managers taking 49%, banks 31% and pension funds and insurance companies a combined 13%. They were widely spread across Europe, with Italy taking 28%, France 20% and Germany 19%.

Swedish manager of prisons and care homes issues first green bonds

State-owned Swedish company Specialfastigheter has issued its first green bonds, raising a total of SEK1.25 billion ($149 million).

The transaction, which consists of two bonds with maturities of five and seven years, attracted strong interest from investors, according to the company.

The bond proceeds will finance environmentally certified buildings, renewable energy installations, sustainable forestry, and energy efficiency projects, as well as sustainable water and wastewater management.

Specialfastigheter worked with Handelsbanken in developing a green bond framework which received a second opinion from Sustainalytics, confirming that the use of proceeds are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals numbers 6, 7, 13 and 15.

AfDB issues a €500 million social bond

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has priced its first social bond. The €500 million, 7-year bond was three times oversubscribed within three hours of the formal book opening. It priced at 14 basis points below mid-swaps, pays a 0.25% coupon, and will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The joint bookrunners were Crédit Agricole CIB, Goldman Sachs and HSBC.

Just over half the issue was bought by central banks and official institutions, 22.2% went to banks, 15.8% to asset managers, and 10.8% to pension funds and insurance companies. About 19% of the buyers are based in Asia, approximately 15% each in Germany, the Benelux countries, and the Nordic countries, 12% in France, just over 15% from the rest of EMEA and about 8% from the UK.

AfDB said the issue was intended to help encourage sustainable economic development and social progress in Africa. The projects to be financed will aim to reduce poverty, create jobs and be inclusive in terms of age, gender and geography.

Svensk Fastighets Finansiering issues its biggest green bond

Swedish real estate company Svensk Fastighets Finansiering (SFF) has issued two-year bonds with a total value of SEK1.25 billion ($149 million), secured by property mortgages.

The first tranche, with a value of SEK950 million, has a fixed coupon of 0.365%. The second, with a value of SEK300 million, has a floating rate of 0.75 percentage points above three-month STIBOR.

The bonds will be listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm Sustainable bonds list, and received Moody's highest green bond assessment score of GB1.

The sole lead manager was SEB.

SFF has previously issued six other green bonds

Iowa Finance Authority eyes third green issue

Iowa Finance Authority is set to issue its third green bond.

The bond, which is expected to raise $346.2 million, will be used to finance sustainable water management projects funded under the Iowa Water Pollution Control Works and Drinking Water Facilities Financing Program, including its 'Clean Water Program' and the 'Drinking Water Program'.

The lead managers are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Citigroup and Piper Jaffray & Co.

City of Malmö prepares to issue green bonds

The City of Malmö has prepared a green bond framework which has received a second opinion from Sustainalytics.

The research and ratings company said the municipality's framework aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and notes that the city, which aims to become the 'Best City in the World for Sustainable Urban Development by 2020', was the first Swedish local authority to sign the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sustainalytics also highlights Malmö's continuing attempts to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases, which have seen a 60% decline between 1980 and 2016.

It adds that the contamination of land, water resources and airborne chemical pollution arising from the municipality's historical focus on chemical-intensive textile and manufacturing industries, shaped the city's desire to move towards sustainable investments.

The bond proceeds will be used for projects in sustainable water management, clean transportation, pollution prevention and control, energy efficiency, sustainable management of living natural resources, climate change adaptation and renewable energy.

Fingrid's first €100m bond set for London listing

Fingrid's inaugural green bond is set to be listed on the London Stock Exchange on 23 November.

The Finnish electricity transmission company priced its €100 million ($118 million) issue last week at 35 basis points above midswaps. The notes will have a tenor of 10 years and carry a coupon of 1.125%.

Jan Montell, senior vice-president and chief financial officer (CFO) at Fingrid, told Environmental Finance that this is the first green bond for both a Nordic utility company and a Finnish corporate.

"Finland has set a strategy to shape the clean energy future and we are happy to drive this effort," he said.

Montell added that he was "positively surprised" by investors' reaction. Up to 40 investors participated in the deal, with some green asset managers among them.

"Investors had appetite for much more, but we couldn't do a bigger issue now," Montell said.

"The final price was the best for us. We don't have to pay a premium to issue a green bond … it's the other way round I would say."

Fingrid has 32 projects set for completion in 2017 and has identified green bond-eligible investment costs of around €150 million to fund 16 projects by 2018.

Among its most significant projects are: doubling the capacity on an existing north-south line in eastern Finland, a 400kV line to Helsinki and building additional cross-border capacity to Sweden in northern Finland and cross the Bay of Bothnia.

Cicero provided a second opinion on the Fingrid bond, and rated it 'dark green'.

Avangrid sees price tighten

US energy and utility company Avangrid's $600 million green bond saw its price tighten as the order book swelled to $1.9 billion, it has emerged.

Initial price thoughts were of 115 basis points over Treasuries. At this point the company planned to raise $500 million. But as the order book ballooned, the price was tightened to 95 basis points above Treasuries and the bond was upsized.

The notes, which have a coupon of 3.15%, are due on 1 December 2024.

Avangrid said it will use the funds to reimburse expenditures for the construction of a 208MW wind farm in North Carolina and the acquisition of a 56MW solar plant in Oregon.

Vigeo Eiris provided an independent opinion on the sustainability credentials of the green bond issuance.

BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo were joint book-running managers. BBVA was the green structuring agent.

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