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EBRD invests in debut issue of Polish green covered bonds

By Axel  Reiserer

  • EBRD invests PLN 50 million (€11.7 million equivalent) in PKO Bank Hipoteczny’s first green covered bond issuance
  • Subscription helps develop Polish Green Bond market and green economy

Combining support for capital market development and the green economy in Poland, the EBRD is investing in the first green covered bonds by a major Polish financial institution.

A PLN 250 million (approximately €58.5 million equivalent) green covered bond issuance by PKO Bank Hipoteczny S.A. (PKO BH) is the first under the mortgage bank's Green Covered Bond Framework, which was certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) to be aligned with its low carbon buildings criteria.

The green covered bonds are used to finance residential buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also provide a new capital market instrument for PKO BH to finance green mortgages, and to diversify its investor base.

The investment marks the first signed project under the EBRD’s Green and Sustainability Bond investment framework targeted at financial institutions.

The objective of the framework is to incentivise transparency and adherence to high green standards and to report on the underlying projects’ quantitative and qualitative environmental benefits and impacts.

Green bonds – whose proceeds exclusively go to projects with clear environmental benefits – have gained global recognition for enabling debt issuers to finance projects that transition their business towards greater environmental sustainability.

PKO BH is one of four mortgage banks operating in Poland and specialises in PLN-denominated residential mortgages.

The bank, which started operations in 2015, is a 100 per cent subsidiary of PKO Bank Polski, the largest commercial bank in Poland.

Since 2010, the EBRD has issued more than 80 green bonds totalling €3.7 billion equivalent.

In Poland the EBRD has invested over €9.6 billion in more than 413 projects in the country since 1991.

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