Italy-based Generali, one of the largest global insurance and asset management providers, announced today the successful placement of its first sustainability bond, in a €500 million offering.
The bond was issued under Generali’s Sustainability Bond Framework which features 10 eligible investment areas for use of proceeds, including environmental categories green buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, sustainable water management, recycling management, and social categories encompassing access to essential services/social infrastructure, affordable housing, SME financing, socioeconomic advancement and employment generation, and response to health and natural disaster crisis.
Companies globally have been increasingly turning to sustainable finance tools to support ESG-related initiatives. A recent report from Moody’s indicated that green bond issuance in the first quarter of 2021 soared to a record $99 billion, and estimated that sustainable bond issuance for the year will exceed $650 billion, substantially greater than last year’s record $491 billion.
Generali also said that it will make a donation of €50,000 to its foundation, The Human Safety Net, aimed at helping people living in vulnerable circumstances.
The offering met very strong demand, achieving an order book of €2.2 billion from about 180 international institutional investors, including a significant representation of funds with Sustainable/SRI mandates.
Generali Group CFO, Cristiano Borean said:
“This transaction will further extend the average maturity of our debt, consistent with our proactive approach in shaping the debt maturity profile and will provide the opportunity for Generali to finance green and social projects. Moreover, this will lead to a further reduction in the annual gross interest expense considering our outstanding debt profile. Sustainability is an enabler of the Generali 2021 strategy. I am pleased by the strong reception of our first Sustainability Bond, which confirms our commitment to sustainability and to support the development of the market for green, social and sustainability bonds in Europe.”