Quarterly Green Bond Issuance Surpasses $100bn

Quarterly Green Bond Issuance Surpasses $100bn

Debt Capital Markets

  • Sustainable Finance bonds increased 48% compared to 20Q4, marking just the second time that Sustainable bond issuance surpassed US$200 billion during a quarter
  • 21Q1 highest quarterly total: by proceeds and number of issues, for Sustainable Finance bonds since our records began in 2015
  • As a percentage of global debt capital markets proceeds, Sustainable Finance bonds accounted for a record 11.5% of first quarter activity, up from 9.5% during fourth quarter 2020
  • All-time quarterly record: During the 21Q1, Green bond issuance totalled US$131.3 billion, an increase of more than four times 20Q1 levels
  • Quarter first-ever: Green bond issuance surpassed US$100 billion for the first time during a quarter and also set an all-time quarterly record for number of issues during the opening quarter of 2021

  • All-time quarterly records set by the Sustainability and Social bond categories 21Q1
    • Bolstered by a record-breaking offering from the European Union, Social bond issuance totalled US$91.8 billion during 21Q1, nearly 10 times the total raised during 20Q1
    • Social bond issuance accounted for 32% of the Sustainable Finance bond market during 21Q1, compared to 10% during 20Q1
  • All-time quarterly record: Sustainability bond issuance reached US$42.2 billion during 21Q1, more than double the levels seen during 20Q1
  • The number of Sustainability bonds increased 144% compared YoY
  • Agency and Sovereign issuers accounted for 50% of overall activity during 21Q1, down from 64% of Sustainable Finance during 20Q4
  • Registering a 146% increase compared to a year ago, Corporate issuers accounted for 49% of issuance, up from 35% during the 20Q4
  • Corporate Sustainable Finance bond offerings accounted for a record 10% of global corporate debt issuance during the 21Q1, up from 7% during 20Q4
  • Largest regional market for Sustainable Finance bonds: European issuers with 62% market share during 21Q1
    • The Americas 18%  and Asia Pacific 15%
  • BNP Paribas moved into the top spot for Sustainable Finance bond underwriting with 6.7% market share during 21Q1, an increase of 3.1 market share points compared to a year ago. 
    • JP Morgan and Credit Citi rounded out the top three underwriters during the first quarter.
    • The top ten Sustainable Finance bond underwriters comprised 50.2% of the overall market during 21Q1, up from 37.8% a year ago.

Syndicated Loans

  • Quarter First-Ever: Sustainable lending totalled US$113.6 billion during 21Q1, more than doubling year ago levels and surpassing US$100 billion for the first time during a quarter
  • 21Q1 registered a 26% increase compared to 20Q4 and marks the second consecutive quarterly increase for sustainable lending, after three consecutive quarterly declines during 2020
  • 21Q1 borrowers of overall sustainable lending: European borrowers accounted for 53% of overall sustainable lending, led by facilities for Italy’s Enel SpA and Belgium’s Interbrew-Simba
  • Lending in the Americas accounted for 32% of 21Q1 activity, the highest percentage since the 19Q1, while Asia Pacific lending accounted for 10%
  • BofA Securities moved into the top spot for sustainable syndicated loan mandated arrangers during 21Q1, with 7.0% market share, an increase of 4.3 market share points
    • Followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group with 5.5% and Mizuho Financial Group with 5.0%

Equity Capital Markets

  • All-time quarterly record: Equity Capital Markets activity for sustainable companies totalled US$11.2 billion during 21Q1, more than double activity levels of 20Q1
  • By proceeds, 21Q1 sustainable equity issuance increased 62% compared to 20Q4, despite a 22% decline by number of offerings compared to the previous quarter, which set an all-time quarterly record by number of new issues.
  • 21Q1 Overall ECM activity The Americas accounted for 75%, Europe with 24%
  • 21Q1 Top bookrunners for sustainable equity offerings Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Goldman Sachs registering a combined market share of 50%

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • 3-Year high: M&A activity involving sustainable companies totalled US$44.9 billion during 21Q1, more than four times 20Q1 levels
  • 26% Increase YoY: 218 sustainable deals were announced during 21Q1
  • Number of deals: China accounted for 22% of total sustainable deal making activity during the quarter, followed by the United States (12%), Italy (8%) and Germany and India (6%)
  • Sustainable acquisitions by Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) totalled US$31.4 billion, or 70% of total announced M&A activity during 21Q1
  • Based on deal making involving targets or acquirors operating in sustainable industries:
    • BofA Securities led the advisory league tables for 21Q1, advising on 6 deals valued at US24.1 billion
    • Citi and Guggenheim Securities rounded out the top three financial advisors

Find out more information about Sustainable Finance Quarterly ReviewsDeals IntelligenceM&A DataLeague Tables and Capital Markets Insights.


Data/ Charts: Refinitiv

Commentary: Matt Toole, Director of Deals Intelligence, Refinitiv

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