bneGREEN: Romanian bank BCR issues first green bond

bneGREEN: Romanian bank BCR issues first green bond
By bne IntelliNews October 15, 2021

Banca Comercială Română (BCR), part of Erste Bank Group, has successfully issued its inaugural green bond issue of RON500mn (€100mn), senior preferred notes with a seven-year maturity and a 5% coupon that are going to be listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).

“We have a clear vision of sustainable business processes, which includes reinventing the way we develop products and services. In addition, we believe that implementing ESG criteria, both in our core business and in the investment policy and investment solutions proposed to clients, is a way to meet the needs of the present without compromising resources. And this is the duty we all have to protect future generations," stated Sergiu Manea, CEO of BCR.

The distribution was balanced between pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies, credit institutions, and benefitted from the participation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The notes have been assigned an expected long-term rating of BBB+ by Fitch.

In the two past years the bank has printed RON2.1bn in bond issuance, being one the most active issuers on the BVB.

A growing number of green bonds are being issued in Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania, by both corporates and sovereigns. 

There have been several sizable corporate green bond issues in Romania as the leading companies there hope to tap the growing pool of ESG-conscious investors.  

Raiffeisen Bank, the Romanian subsidiary of the Austrian group, placed its second green local currency bond on June 4, with a maturity of seven years and a fixed annual coupon of 3.793%, approximately 0.8pp above the yield on government securities in lei with the same maturity. The RON1.2bn (€0.24bn) size made it the biggest ever corporate bond in Romania.

Romania's biggest office owner, Globalworth, also successfully issued its inaugural green bonds offering of €400mn notes due 2026 in August last year. 

More recently MAS Securities, the financing arm of MAS Real Estate, a property investor in Central and Eastern Europe with a focus on Romania, announced in May the issue of a €300mn unsecured green five-year Eurobond maturing on May 19, 2026, carrying a 4.25% fixed coupon, with an issue price of 98.903%. The EBRD said it had successfully subscribed to a €24.7mn ticket as part of the issue.