EBRD invests in covered bonds by PKO Bank Hipoteczny S.A.

By Axel  Reiserer

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EBRD invests in covered bonds by PKO Bank Hipoteczny S.A.

Second PLN-denominated benchmark issue of covered bonds under new legislation

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested PLN 80 million (approximately €18.1 million equivalent) in the Polish zloty-denominated benchmark covered bond issue by PKO Bank Hipoteczny S.A. (PKO BH).

This is the second covered bond issue by PKO BH under the new covered bond legislation that came into force on 1 January 2016. It is also the second issue of mortgage covered bonds in Poland secured exclusively by Polish zloty-denominated housing loans for individuals.

PKO BH is one of three mortgage banks operating in Poland, specialising in mortgage lending to individual customers. PKO BH, which started operations on 1 April 2015, is a 100 per cent subsidiary of PKO Bank Polski S.A., the largest commercial bank in Poland.

The EBRD has played an active role in the development of the new legal framework for covered bonds in Poland. Under its Local Currency and Local Capital Markets Initiative, and after an approach by the Polish Ministry of Finance, the Bank reviewed and provided comments on and recommendations for the new Act on Covered Bonds and Mortgage Banks, based on best international practice.

The covered bond issue reduces the maturity mismatch of PKO BH’s balance sheet and enhances and diversifies PKO Bank Polski S.A. Group’s financing structure by providing access to long-term funding for its mortgage loan portfolio.

Lucyna Stańczak-Wuczyńska, EBRD Director for EU Banks in the Financial Institutions Group, said: “We are pleased to have participated in the second covered bond transaction within a very short time period today. This illustrates that there is a demand for this new product, which the EBRD strongly supports. Developing and strengthening the Polish capital market remains a key priority for us. Despite significant progress much remains to be done and the EBRD stands ready to deploy its funds, policy dialogue and expertise to promote further progress.”

Rafał Kozłowski, CEO of PKO BH said: “We are glad that the EBRD once again invested in covered bonds issued by PKO Bank Hipoteczny. This proves not only the safety of securities issued by us, but also the high quality of the whole programme. Taking into account upcoming European issuance this year, it is crucial for us.”

Since the beginning of its operations in Poland in 1991, the EBRD has invested €7.8 billion in more than 370 projects in the country. In recent years the Bank has also built a growing portfolio of investments (both equity and debt) in the Polish financial sector, for which demand remains high.

Strengthening economic resilience is one of the three key priorities of the EBRD under its current business strategy to re-energise growth in its countries of operations. The two others are promoting integration and addressing global and regional challenges.

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