05/31/2018 - 10:25

Finland has the potential to become a forerunner in sustainable financing

MuniFin and its green finance customers had the honour of ringing the bell as Nasdaq Helsinki launched its Sustainable Bonds Market on May 31, 2018. MuniFin is the first issuer of the new market segment as it dual lists its two green bonds in Helsinki.

– Sustainable financing and sustainable investing are global trends that grow strong in a fast pace. They can have significant effect in steering new investments environmentally sustainable. The multiplicative effects of finance decisions can be enormous, says MuniFin’s President and CEO Esa Kallio, who rang the bell at the new market segment launch at Nasdaq Helsinki.

MuniFin has been the first Finnish green bond issuer. There still are only two green bond issuers in Finland but the launch of the new marketplace is an indication that the situation is going to change.

– It is crucial for us that Finland will become a hotbed of sustainable financing. First of all, that would encourage different actors to make innovative environmental investments and make it possible to reach the Finnish climate goals. On the other hand it would also strengthen Finland’s brand as a leader in sustainable investments, Kallio says.

MuniFin aims to further improve the portfolio of sustainable products. In addition to green bonds, the company also investigates the different options for issuing social impact bonds.

Green finance has proved to be a success

MuniFin’s publicly issued green bonds have had extremely strong investor demand and they have been quickly oversubscribed – the EUR 500 million bond issued in the autumn of 2017 has been the most sought-after bond in the history of MuniFin. It was therefore very tightly priced, and has also performed well in the secondary market.

MuniFin has offered green lending for its customers’ environmental projects since 2016 and the customer demand has been excellent: so far the combined value of the green portfolio is more than EUR 1.0 billion.

The municipality sector plays a key role in the fight against climate change: its projects are often large-scale and have a wide social impact. MuniFin offers municipalities incentives towards sustainable choices by offering green finance at a lower cost than other financing instruments. Green finance can be either loan or leasing finance. 

MuniFin's framework for green finance specifies the sectors of environmental investment that are eligible for the more affordable green funding. The categories included are renewable energy, public transport, sustainable buildings, water and waste water management, energy efficiency, waste treatment, and environmental management and nature conservation.

Present at the launch of of the Sustainable Bonds Market were MuniFin green finance customers representing the West Metro, the Tampere tramway, a social housing company Lahden Asunnot and the cities of Hämeenlinna and Mikkeli.

Further information:

Esa Kallio, President and CEO, tel. +358 50 337 7953
Antti Kontio, Head of Funding and CSR, tel. +358 50 3700 285
Soili Helminen, Communications Manager, tel. +358 400 204 853