Bonds & Loans: Two telecoms giants raise sustainable debt

A weekly overview of ESG developments for fixed income

Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp has raised €1.5bn from a dual tranche green bond which saw orders of €6.6bn. Orders were split evenly between the €650m 4-year and €850m 7-year tranches, which pay 0.082% and 0.399% respectively.  

Fellow telecoms firm Spark has signed NZ$425m worth of sustainability-linked loans with three lenders. Westpac NZ is lending the firm $200m, due 2023, with a $100m loan due 2024 from Commonwealth Bank of Australia and $125m from MUFG, due 2025. The interest rate on all of the loans is linked to three targets: a 56% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, 70% of Spark’s suppliers setting a science-based target, and a gender representation target. 

In sovereign news, Latvia entered the market this week with its debut sustainability bond, raising €600m. The 2.5% bonds, maturing 2028, saw orders of more than €2.5bn from over 120 investors, with allocation mostly to asset managers and bank treasuries in Germany, Austria, UK and the Nordics. Meanwhile, GlobalCapital reported that Egypt secured a $3bn 3-year loan towards the end of last month, with proceeds from the deal partially allocated to fund projects under the country’s green financing framework. The size of the loan was increased by $1bn due to high demand. Denmark has also announced it will be issuing its first green bond – of an as yet undetermined size – on the 19th of January. The 2031 bond will pay a coupon of 0%. 

Two sub-sovereigns also raised sustainable debt, with the Colombian capital of Bogotá raising COP162bn (€36m) from a dual tranche social bond, which was twice oversubscribed. The city split the deal into a 12-year COP103bn tranche and a 20year COP59bn tranche, which pay the IPC consumer price index plus 4.35%, and a fixed rate of 4.53% respectively. Proceeds will be spent on a programme providing financial support to allow high school graduates to attend university. Also this week, Toronto raised C$150m (€105m) from its fourth green bond. The 10-year 2.2% bond was 1.4 times oversubscribed with orders from 29 Canadian and international investors. Proceeds will be allocated to eligible projects for the city’s waste management service, community house corporation, transit commission and waterfront revitalisation projects.  

Meanwhile, the UK’s Municipal Bonds Agency, which helps local authorities access capital markets, is looking to issue two as-yet-unlabelled sustainable bonds in the first quarter of next year, Bloomberg reports. Proceeds from the bonds will be allocated to multiple interested local authorities. 

The World Bank has privately placed a A$130m (€82m) sustainable development bond with Meiji Yasuda Life. The coupon on the 10-year bond was not disclosed. Meanwhile the European Investment Bank upsized its €500m climate awareness bond due 2027 to €750m off the back of a €5.75bn orderbook. 

Data centre firm Flexential has raised $1.6bn from its inaugural green asset-backed securities as part of a wider $2.1bn ABS raise. The firm said the raise “dramatically improves” its investment grade credit profile as well as lowering its cost of capital. New data centres funded by the notes must be both energy and water efficient. 

Canadian renewables firm Boralex has agreed a $525m sustainability-linked revolving credit facility with BMO and a syndicate of seven other Canadian and US banks. The interest rate on the 5-year facility is linked to emissions avoidance and equal opportunities for women. 

European railways supranational EUROFIMA has raised Sfr200m (€192m) from its first Swiss Franc green bond, securing a yield of -0.023% for the 2031 notes. 

Swedish medical company Electa has raised SEK1.5bn (€146m) from a dual tranche sustainability-linked bond, the first in the country to be tied solely to a social target. The coupon on both tranches – an SEK1.15bn 5-year tranche and a SEK350m 7-year tranche paying 3 month STIBOR plus 0.9% and a fixed rate of 1.925% respectively – is linked to the increased supply of linear accelerators, a type of cancer treatment machine, to underserved markets.  

US-based Eastman Chemical Company has added sustainability targets to its extended $1.5bn revolving credit facility, signed with a group of 15 banks including Mizuho and Bank of America, with Citi acting as administrative agent, joint lead arranger and co-sustainability agent. The interest rate on the facility is linked to GHG reductions, plastic recycling and increased representation of women in “professional or managerial roles”. Fellow US oil and gas firm Streamline Innovations announced it has signed a sustainability-linked term loan with Riverstone Credit Partners of an undisclosed size. The KPIs attached to the deal were also not disclosed. 

Austria’s RHI Magnesita upsized its sustainability-linked schuldschein to €250m after high demand from investors and has agreed a new €150m sustainability-linked bilateral facility with ING. The interest rate on both the schuldschein and facility is linked to the group’s EcoVadis ESG rating. 

Gold miner Newmont has become the first mining company to issue a sustainability-linked bond, raising $1bn from its inaugural deal. The firm, which entered into a sustainability-linked revolving credit facility earlier this year, will pay 2.6% on the 2032 notes, which will increase from 2030 should the firm fail to hit its targets for emissions reductions and female representation in leadership roles targets. The proceeds will be used to repurchase existing debt and for general corporate purposes. 

Malaysia-based transport and logistics firm Yinson has raised RM1bn (€209m) from the country’s first sustainability-linked sukuk. The 5-year 5.55% bond was upsized from RM700m off the back of an orderbook of RM1.66bn, with the coupon linked to two carbon intensity metrics and renewable energy generation. This week also saw Malaysia’s first ESG-linked cross currency interest rate swap between RHB Bank and Standard Chartered, which will see a pricing adjustment for RHB based on its target of extending RM5bn to support green financing by 2025. 

Finnish paper firm Stora Enso has signed a €700m sustainability-linked revolving credit facility with a 12-bank syndicate, led by Credit Agricole, Nordea and OP Corporate Bank. The interest rate on the revolver is linked to the firm’s SBTi-verified goal of slashing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions in half by 2030 as well as a non-verified 50% cut in Scope 3 emissions. In other Finnish news, lender Ålandsbanken raised SEK150m (€14.6m) from a subordinated green bond yesterday. Orders reached SEK200m for the 20-year deal.  

Two real estate investors entered the market this week, with Starwood Property Trust raising $400m from a private placement of 3-year 3.75% sustainability bonds and Dream Industrial REIT raising C$250m (€175m) from a privately placed 2.539% green bond, maturing 2026. 

The Netherlands’ Advanced Metallurgical Group has signed a new 5-year $200m revolving credit facility. The group said that it had “embedded annual CO2 intensity reduction targets” into the loan but did not provide further details. HSBC acted as sole bookrunner and was joined by ABN AMRO as joint sustainability coordinator. 

Greek energy giant GEK Terna plans to raise €300m from a 7-year sustainability-linked bond. The firm is looking to pay 2.3% to 2.7%, on the bond, which will rise by 20bp if it has failed to cut its GHG emissions by 25% by the end of 2025. 

BBVA and the Development Bank of Latin America have signed a memorandum of understanding, which they say will help facilitate the issuance green and social bonds and development of financial products with a high social impact in the region.