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Sep 12, 2023 12:15 EEST
September 12 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's First Investment Bank [BUL:FIB] said it has started gauging investor interest in the possible issuance of a 300 million euro ($321.6 million) inaugural green bond, to be used to finance green and sustainable projects under the lender's recently published Green Finance Framework.
First Investment Bank, or Fibank, has picked Citibank London, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg of Germany and Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International as joint bookrunners, which have started arranging a series of investor meetings, the Bulgarian lender said in a bourse filing on Monday.
You can download the 2022 ESG & Sustainability report Bulgaria here
Subject to market conditions and investor interest, Fibank may opt to issue a 3NC2 green senior preferred MREL-eligible note offering, to be rated by Fitch Ratings, it added. Citibank London and Raiffeisen Bank International will also act as structuring advisors if the offering goes ahead.
In a separate statement on Monday, Fitch Ratings said it assigned an initial long-term rating of 'B(EXP)' and a Recovery Rating of 'RR4' to Fibank's planned inaugural senior preferred notes issuance, which is expected to be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Proceeds from the planned offering will enable Fibank to manage a portfolio of green finance instruments that includes bonds, mortgage loans, investment loans, project finance and revolving credit, limited to pure-play companies, or those which generate over 90% of their revenue from activities eligible under Fibank's Green Finance Framework.
The project selection criteria exclude investments in sectors such as defence and weapons, nuclear and fossil fuel energy, mining, activities linked to pure internal combustion engines (ICE) as well as alcohol, tobacco and gambling.
Published in August, Fibank's Green Finance Framework follows the green bond principles formulated in 2021 by the International Capital Market Association as well as the green loan principles which were published in February this year and are administered by UK-based Loan Market Association, a financial body promoting syndicated loans in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Fibank has put the framework in place to help align its funding strategy with its sustainability commitments, diversify its investor base and seek out socially responsible investors. In its current formulation, the framework also takes into account the UN sustainable development goals and where feasible, the EU Taxonomy, a classification of sustainable activities established by the EU in the context of the Green Deal. Components of the EU's proposed bloc-wide Green Bond Standard regulation are also reflected in the framework.
($ = 0.9328 euro)
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