Fernando Rodríguez | Spanish issuers are becoming increasingly active in the global sustainable finance market. State-owned Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) has joined the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network (NSBN), the platform that concentrates relevant information on sustainable bond issuers and transactions from all over the world with the aim of promoting transparency in this market. Iberdrola became the first issuer to join this platform in October last year, and BBVA was the first Spanish bank to do so a month later.
According to figures recently offered by the Green Bond Initiative (GBI), Spain ranks seventh in the historical world ranking of green bond issuers in the last five years. The accumulated figure of debt placed in the 2015-2020 period was €28 billion, 3.4% of the total €820 billion issued globally, not including social and sustainable bonds. According to GBI, Spanish issuers – since Spain has not yet issued sovereign green bonds, although it plans to do so this year – issued green bonds for the equivalent of €7.16 billion in 2020, taking ninth position in the ranking of the largest global issuers. This was led by the United States – with more than €42 billion – followed, in descending order, by Germany, France, China, Holland, Sweden, Japan and Canada.
The Spanish ICO is one of the main issuers in the European sustainable debt market, with 9 issues made -7 of social bonds and 2 of green bonds- for a total amount of 4.55 billion euros.
Along with ICO, Iberdrola and BBVA, the NSBN network includes international multilateral, public and private issuers. Amongst them are The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, the Italian national promotional bank, ICO’s counterpart, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the German NRW and DKB.
Issuers share in NSBN information on the standards they follow in their green, social or sustainable bond transactions – such as, for example, the ICMA Green Bond Principles or Social Bond Principles – as well as their issuance frameworks. In addition, they share data on the impact and typology of the projects financed with the funds raised in these operations and their relationship with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This enables comparability and transparency in decision making, positioning this platform as a benchmark tool amongst sustainable debt investors. NSBN’s global advisory board is made up of leading public and private investors, issuers and organizations, including Allianz GI, Alecta, APG, Pimco, Fannie Mae, NIB, Bloomberg, Sustainalitics, Vigeo, CBI, CACIB, SEB.