S&P sees surge in social bond issuance due to COVID-19
Corporate and financial issuers will be more active issuers of social bonds as they focus on reducing social risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in contrast to the broader global fixed income market this year.
The market has diversified lately, with government agencies, corporate and FIGs stepping up social bond issuance activity.
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) report highlights research from MSCI, AXA, Fidelity, Schroders, Blackrock and Morningstar showing outperformance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dealogic H1 20 sustainable finance market update
Global sustainable finance bond issuance reached US$155.4bn in H1 2020 (361 deals), a 21% rise from the first half of 2019, marking the highest H1 volume on record.
The pandemic crisis had a significant impact on market dynamics this year with green bond issuance dropping to US$92.5bn in 1H20 from US$99.8bn in H1 19 while social bonds surged with US$38.5bn of new issuance in H1 20, up 351% on H1 19 volumes. Sustainability bonds also increased 23% year-on-year to US$24.4bn.
The majority of social and sustainability issuance was by European borrowers, with a total of US$98.5bn in H1 20 issuance, followed by North America with $30.1bn and North Asia with US$14.0bn.
Investor and market news
HESTA announces net zero goal by 2050
HESTA has announced a Climate Change Transition Plan which commits it to reducing the absolute carbon emissions in its investment portfolio by 33% by 2030 and going ‘net zero’ by 2050.
First State Super aims to reduce carbon intensity by 30%
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) said they will work together to improve the sustainability disclosure landscape by providing compatible standards for sustainability reporting.
Investors call for ‘Paris alignment’ of KPI-linked bonds
The U.S.-based water technology provider sealed its maiden green bond offering. The proceeds will fund Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, efficiency and circular economy products to lower water use.
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A couple of comments from the Fed chair during the post-FOMC meeting Statement have been responsible for most of the market price action, notably, Powell’s remarks “we’re some ways away from substantial progress on jobs” and that “the Fed is nowhere near considering raising rates”.