Responsible Funds, May 13: New €1bn, eight-year green bond from Germany’s KfW

The round-up of the latest responsible funds news

Germany’s KfW has issued and priced its second green bond of this, a €1bn issue with eight-year maturity. “This first large liquid EUR-Green-Bond in the SSA segment reflects KfW’s commitment to support the Green Bond market,” said Head of Capital Markets Petra Wehlert. The KfW “consciously opted” for a longer maturity to further extend its liquid Green Bond curve and allow it to offer investors a positive yield. “We aim at supporting the Green Bond market which has not seen much of supply lately and I think we succeeded,” Wehlert added.

John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN), the London-listed environmental infrastructure fund, has agreed to buy a French wind farm. It has an agreement with Energiequelle GmbH to acquire 100% of the Parc Éolien Le Placis Vert wind farm in Brittany in northwestern France for around €2.5m. JLEN added: “We are in discussion with Energiequelle on other acquisitions for up to 10MW comprising 8 wind turbines in France, and we look forward to future partnering opportunities with Energiequelle.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has reportedly sold off its entire holding in oil giant BP, in a move the Guardian newspaper said was welcomed by fossil fuel divestment campaigners. It cited SEC filings as saying the foundation sold its $187m stake in BP between September and December 2015. “We are thrilled that the Gates foundation continues to divest from fossil fuel stocks, but it’s time to divest the rest. Investing in oil companies is completely inconsistent with the Gates foundation mission to ensure that everybody has the chance to live a healthy, productive life,” said Alec Connon, an organiser for the Gates Divest campaign.

For the first time, more than half (51%) of surveyed financial professionals in the SRI sector are offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors, up sharply from 22% in 2013 and 42% – according to The SRI Conference 2016 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey released by First Affirmative Financial Network. The 4th annual edition of the survey has been released in advance of the 27th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing in November.A coalition of global investor and property groups have launched the Sustainable Real Estate Investment – Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: An Action Framework in Australia for the first time. Five of the world’s largest investor networks and RICS have come together, supported by the Global Alliance for Building and Construction, to publish a concise, actionable framework for Real Estate investors to help them make sense of existing Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) guidance and to accelerate their integration of ESG and climate risks and opportunities into investment decisions. The guide sets out a range of measures to improve returns or better protect the future value of real estate investments through application of an ESG and climate change management approach. Link

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the US securities industry body which represents broker-dealers, banks and asset managers, held a roundtable on green financing this week. The event was held on Capitol Hill and participants included Senator Chris Murphy and Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko. Industry participants included Kyung-Ah Park, Head of Environmental Markets Group, Goldman Sachs; Kurt Vogt, Managing Director, Sustainable Financing, HSBC; Pat Quinn, Managing Director, Nomura Securities International; Zachary Solomon, Vice President, Public Finance Group, Morgan Stanley. SIFMA plans to host its next roundtable on social impact financing on May 26, followed by a cybersecurity roundtable on June 9.

Building on its first vehicle, instigated by the Edmond de Rothschild Group in 2010, Ginkgo has announces the first closing and launch of its second fund, Ginkgo 2, which targets the sustainable remediation of brownfield sites in urban areas. Ginkgo Fund 2 will be supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a cornerstone of the Investment Plan for Europe. To celebrate the launch, a signing ceremony attended by the fund’s principal investors – including the European Investment Bank (EIB), Caisse des Dépôts, the Edmond de Rothschild Group and Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (SFPI) – was held in Lyon, France.