Green bonds see another record

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Nearly $9 billion (U.S.) in green bonds were issued during the first quarter of 2014, prompting the Climate Bonds Initiative to double its estimate for the rest of the year to $40 billion.

“There have been new issuers, new currencies, new underwriters, new areas of issuance and, for the first time, a green bonds index,” according to Bridget Boulle, the initiative’s program manager, in a blog update posted in April.

Development banks continue to lead the way with issues of $4.9 billion, but corporations are not far behind at $4.02 billion. For the corporate side, this is a major achievement given that the first corporate green bond was only issued in November 2013. Development banks, on the other hand, have been issuing since 2007.

Export Development Canada (EDC) was the latest development bank to issue a green bond, which was priced at $300 million (Canadian) and received $500 million in orders within 15 minutes.

Ken Kember, chief financial officer, said the bank sees green bonds as becoming a regular part of its funding program. “The green bond is a nice balance to EDC’s corporate focus on clean technology, an area that will feed new green bond issues in the years to come.”

Toyota, Unilever and TD Bank were among the new corporate issuers, which also included Sweden’s SCA, a producer of personal care, hygiene and forest products. Toyota was the second-largest issuer at $1.75 billion, but the European Investment Bank once again dominated at $2.9 billion, representing six bonds issued in five different currencies.

Again, most green bond issues in the quarter were oversubscribed.

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