The European Union (EU) hired banks on Monday to sell its first ever green bond, memos from two lead managers seen by Reuters showed, taking its first step towards becoming a major force in the environmentally friendly debt market.
The 15-year green bond, due February 2037, will raise €12 billion, the memos said, making it the largest green bond launch in the government bond market to date.
This will exceed the record £10 billion Britain raised from a green bond sale in September.
The bond, which will finance member states’ green projects as part of the bloc’s coronavirus recovery fund, will be launched “in the near future subject to market conditions,” a phrase debt management offices usually use a day before a sale, the memos said.
The deal is the first step for the EU, which aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050, towards becoming a leading force in the fast-growing green bond market.
Green bonds will fund 30 percent of the EU’s up-to €800 billion coronavirus recovery fund, which gives grants and loans to members states until end-2026.
Up to €250 billion of issuance could transform the EU into the world’s biggest green bond issuer.
Investors will closely watch pricing, and analysts expect the EU green bond, like its peers, to price at a slightly lower yield than comparable conventional bonds – what investors refer to as the “greenium” on environmentally debt driven by a dedicated investor base chasing a limited stock of green assets.
The European Union hired BofA Securities, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Nomura and TD Securities to lead the sale, the memos said.