A large London landlord has issued a £250m sustainability bond with a fixed interest rate of 2.08%.
Notting Hill Genesis, which owns and manages 66,000 homes, has become the latest landlord to enter the debt capital markets with its maiden environmental, social and governance (ESG) linked facility.
The 15-year bond achieved a spread of 100 basis points over gilts, the government cost of borrowing. The bond aligns with the group’s sustainable finance framework, published in May, which in turn aligns with International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) standards.
Proceeds from the bond will be used to fund social housing, including general needs and shared ownership properties. Funds will also go towards new homes that are built with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least ‘B’.
A number of housing associations have issued ESG-linked bonds in recent months including Aster Group, Paradigm and Clarion. But experts recently warned that pricing on these deals “must go further” to make them more attractive to housing associations.
Notting Hill Genesis said the bond is part of its work to develop a “robust” ESG framework within the organisation, including signing up to the new Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing.
Paul Phillips, chief financial officer at Notting Hill Genesis, said: “Issuing a green bond is an important step for Notting Hill Genesis.
“It’s not only a key part of our drive to become a more sustainable organisation, but also puts us in a good position financially.
“Issuing this bond improves our liquidity and establishes us further in the capital markets – a vital source of additional income which enables us to fulfil our core social purpose to build and maintain quality affordable homes, creating diverse and thriving communities.”
Julian Barker, partner at Devonshires, who advised on the deal, said: “We are delighted to have supported Notting Hill Genesis on the programme set up and first issue of sustainable bonds. The programme provides a flexible basis for future funding opportunities while also showcasing NHG’s commitment to ESG objectives.”
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