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Green Bonds Expected To Top $100 Billion In 2015

Another strong quarter for issuances of green bonds has taken the year’s total up to $32 billion, more than double the total issued during 2013, and fuelling predictions that 2015 could see $100 billion worth of green bonds issued.

Data from the Climate Bond Initiative published Tuesday claimed $9.2 billion green bonds were issued in the third quarter.

“The league table shows that Crédit Agricole, BAML and SEB were the main drivers of the growth of the ‘labelled’ market in the last quarter that saw 28 green bonds issued,” said Climate Bonds Initiative CEO Sean Kidney. “We predict USD100 billion of issuance in 2015 and green bonds to go mainstream in 2016.”

The green bonds market — fixed income securities designed to raise capital to finance the low carbon environment — has been growing dramatically over the past few years, as seen in the graph below (provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance).

Green bonds

After the first quarter of 2014, green bonds had already surpassed 50% of the previous year, and have now already skyrocketed past double 2013’s total before 2014 is even over.

Barclays Enters The Field

In September, proving again the importance green bonds have in the current market, Barclays — one of the world’s largest banks — announced that it would invest a minimum of £1 billion in green bonds over the next year, more than doubling its current portfolio of £430 million.

“Every so often, market innovation and social imperatives come together to create something exciting that has the potential to make a real difference,” said Tushar Morzaria, Barclays Group Finance Director. “The Green Bond sector is a fast-growing and powerful example of this synthesis.”

Barclays are planning to focus its investment in the Supranational sector (which made up $7.2 billion in 2013, see above), and will review its commitment to the green bonds market on an ongoing basis, “with the potential to increase it depending on overall growth of the sector.”

The Current Green Bonds Heavyweights

While Barclays is only now beginning to wade into the field, the third quarter saw the current heavyweights battling it out. Crédit Agricole narrowly beat out Bank of America Merril Lynch, with both banks making over $140 million worth of deals in the third quarter.

green bonds 2

However, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) still maintains its position as the top-performing bank in the year to date, despite strong performance in the third quarter from Crédit Agricole and Bank of America Merril Lynch.

green bonds 1

SEB was also involved in the largest issuance of the quarter, a €1.5 billion deal initiated by Germany’s development bank, KfW (Kredit für Wiederaufbau). French development bank Agence Française de Développement issued a €1 green bond, while the European Investment Bank issued a €500 million bond.

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