Inside S&P Global Ratings IFR Outlook H1 2019: Political uncertainty, sustainability and ESG

S&P Global Ratings has published 2019’s first edition of Infrastructure Finance Outlook, its newsletter of key infrastructure and project finance-related research and ratings news.

In this edition, S&P Global Ratings considers global infrastructure investment trends, spanning China, the GCC and the Americas, along with the regulatory and political risk factors across these regions.

With global political uncertainties on the rise, infrastructure investors are even more focused on long-term sustainability. And, as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are rising to the fore of investment strategies, the credit rating agency dedicates this edition to providing greater insight to its newest offering, the ESG Evaluation.

Please see the full newsletter in PDF here.

S&P Global Ratings finds links between ESG and Islamic Finance, covered by the specialist press

There are possible parallels between the principles of Islamic Finance and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. That’s according to a recent report from S&P Global Ratings, entitled “Islamic Finance and ESG: The Missing S”.

According to the report, environmental (‘E’) and governance (‘G’) factors enjoy more visibility in modern Islamic finance. And while social (‘S’) aspects are found in several Islamic financing instruments, these have yet to be leveraged in a transparent and systematic manner. This said, a few Islamic banks have set public objectives on social responsibility, which could be demonstrative of a slow realisation across the Islamic finance industry that it could engage with a sustainable financial system, in S&P’s opinion.

Following outreach by Moorgate, the report was covered by Environmental Finance, Islamic Finance and Trade Arabia.

Natixis runs books for first green and sustainable syndicated loan for European independent power producer, covered by specialist press

Natixis acted as mandated arranger, sole coordinator, bookrunner and sustainable development coordinator for the issuance of a €100 million loan by French power producer Voltalia – the first green and sustainable syndicated loan for a European independent power producer.

“By supporting Voltalia in this new operation, Natixis confirms its long-term commitment with this client, and its determination to deliver innovative solutions underpinned by its strategic commitment to green and sustainable finance based on three pillars: innovation, service and integrity” said Marc Vincent, Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking and Member of the Senior Management Committee, Natixis.

Following outreach by Moorgate, the news was covered by the following specialist publications: Environmental Finance, FinanzNarichten, DGAP, Renewables Now, Bloomberg, La Mia Finanza, Il Sole 24 Ore, PV Magazine, IJGlobal, TXF, Solarnews and EticaNews.

GlobalCapital interviews UniCredit’s Antonio Keglevich on landmark green bond for KfW

On 16th May, KfW closed its largest ever green bond issue, coming in at €3 billion, with UniCredit acting as bookrunner alongside Bank of America and Crédit Agricole.

Antonio Keglevich, UniCredit’s Head of Sustainability Bond Origination, spoke to GlobalCapital, commenting: “The bookbuilding process was extremely smooth and very orderly. A 3bp tightening in the spread was more than justifiable on the back of a book of more than €8bn.”

The full article can be found here.

Los Pelambres’ proposed US$875m green loan scores E2/68 under S&P Green Evaluation

S&P Global Ratings has awarded a Green Evaluation score of E2/68 to Minera Los Pelambres’ proposed US$875 million loan – the second highest score available on the Green Evaluation scale of E1-E4 – making Los Pelambres the first mining company globally to receive a Green Evaluation. The loan facility will fund part of the company’s US$1.3 billion copper mine expansion project, based in Chile.

Roughly US$530 million of the US$875 million loan is labelled as a green financing since proceeds will be deployed at the new water desalination plant and the associated pipeline. The plant will bring seawater to the plant in Choapa Valley, instead of competing for fresh water in neighboring municipalities, where water resources are scarce and expensive.

Following outreach from Moorgate, TXF News covered the Green Evaluation.

ESG-based investing is here to stay, says S&P Global Ratings, covered by the specialist press

According to a recent report by S&P Global Ratings, executives and asset managers are in agreement that the rise of environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-based investing will likely accelerate as a younger, more values-oriented crop of investors enter the global markets.

Doug Peterson, S&P Global President and CEO, told attendees of  launch event for S&P Global Ratings’ ESG Evaluation tool, “Now more than ever, companies understand and have a much better appreciation of their responsibilities as corporate citizens. We see ESG matters as an essential component of sustainable company performance.”

Following outreach from Moorgate, the report was covered by Aqua Now, Wealth Adviser, SDG Knowledge Hub, and Institutional Asset Manager.

 

Natixis and Groupama Group launch innovative green insurance product

Natixis has teamed up with Groupama Gan Vie, a subsidiary of the Groupama Group, to launch the first green structured note that is entirely supportive of the energy transition. The move reflects both groups’ proactive approach to the fight against climate change.

The product offers a means to directly finance renewable energy projects in order to ensure more environmentally-respectful energy production. The funds collected will be invested exclusively in wind, solar, hydraulic and biomass projects that respect responsible management criteria. The structured not will be issued by Natixis and launched on 1 May.

Elie Bitton, Head of EMEA Sales and Global Head of Financial Engineering, Natixis Global Markets, said: “We are proud today to be able to offer an investment solution that is 100% committed to the climate, and we thank Groupama for its trust and confidence in this high-profile operation.”

Following outreach from Moorgate, news of the launch was covered by El Asesor FinancieroNoticias CanariasStructured Retail ProductsInternational AdvisorCompelo and Investment Europe.

Ence Energía SL receives top Green Evaluation score from S&P Global Ratings, covered by specialist press

S&P Global Ratings recently issued a Green Evaluation score of E1/85 to Spanish biomass energy company, Ence Energía SL, for its €109.6 million three-tranche loan facility. This score represents the highest band of S&P Global Ratings’ Green Evaluation scale, which ranges from E1-E4, with E1 at the highest end of the scale.

The funds will be used in Ence Energía’s acquisition of a 90% stake in a 50-MW solar thermal plant located in Puertollano in Castile-La Mancha, Spain.

Following outreach from Moorgate, the Green Evaluation score was covered by Renewables Now and Europa Press.

Michael Wilkins, S&P Global Ratings, discusses ESG Evaluation launch with Environmental Finance

In an interview with Environmental Finance, Michael Wilkins discusses the recent launch of S&P Global Ratings’ ESG Evaluation.

Separate from S&P Global Ratings’ credit ratings, the tool aims to help investors gain a better understanding of a entity’s strategy, purpose and management quality in relation to rising environmental, social and governance concerns.

Enhancing the ESG Evaluation’s analytical approach is S&P Global Ratings’ newly launched ESG Risk Atlas. This online infographic charts exposure to environmental and social risk for more than 30 sectors and incorporates exposure to natural disasters, corporate governance standards, and ESG-related regulations to provide country scores.

Read the full interview here (requires registration).

S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Wilkins provides insight on new ESG Evaluation in Global Capital

Following the launch of S&P Global Ratings’ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Evaluation, Global Capital interviewed Michael Wilkins, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance, S&P Global Ratings.

In the interview, Wilkins discusses the launch, the methodology behind the ESG Evaluation tool, and the pilot studies conducted so far.

Wilkins commented on the tool: “I think it’s ground-breaking because it really does go beyond what a traditional credit rating agency does. We have now started to look at ESG with a different lens, and that is the lens of the impact ESG has on stakeholders across the board. So it’s much broader than the typical focus on the impact on debt and equity.”

The full interview can be found here (behind paywall).