The European Commission, which issues EU-Bonds on behalf of the EU, has raised a further €8 billion of EU-Bonds in its 11th syndicated transaction for 2023. The dual tranche transaction consisted of a new €5bn, 5-year bond due on 5 December 2028 and a €3bn tap of the NextGenerationEU Green Bond maturing on 4 February 2048.
The deal received strong interest from investors, who placed bids totalling over €66bn for the new 5-year bond and over €70bn for the 24-year NGEU Green Bond. This equals oversubscription rates of approximately 13 times and 24 times, respectively.
The transaction brings the total volume of NextGenerationEU green bond issuances to €47.2bn, with proceeds being used to finance green projects from the member states’ national Recovery and Resilience plans (RRPs) – the roadmaps to spending under NextGenerationEU. NGEU green bond issuances are backed by a significant pool of eligible projects and are closely calibrated to member states’ reported green expenditures, which are now gathering momentum.
The transaction marked the EU’s last syndicated transaction for this year. This brings the total issuance volume in the second half of this year to €34.2bn. The Commission has announced it will finalise its bond issuances for this year with an up to €4bn auction on 27 November.
A full overview of all EU transactions issued to date is available online.
The European Commission borrows on international capital markets on behalf of the European Union and disburses the funds to Member States and third countries under various borrowing programmes. EU borrowing is guaranteed by the EU budget, and contributions to the EU budget are an unconditional legal obligation of all Member States under the EU Treaties.
Since January 2023, the European Commission has been issuing single branded EU-Bonds rather than separately labelled bonds for individual programmes. The proceeds of these single-branded bonds are allocated to relevant programmes according to the procedures set out in the applicable agreements. NextGenerationEU Green Bond issuances continue to finance only measures eligible under the NextGenerationEU Green Bond Framework.
On the basis of EU-Bonds and NextGenerationEU Green Bonds raised since mid-2021, the Commission has so far disbursed €174.7 billion in grants and loans to the EU Member States under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, on top of further support to other EU programmes benefitting from NextGenerationEU funding.
Out of the funds paid to Member States under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, €58.3 billion have been reported as eligible for green bond financing. Under the NextGenerationEU green bond programme, expenditure is confirmed as eligible for funding via green bonds ex-post, after EU countries have demonstrated what the funds have been used for.
Real time information about the eligible and allocated expenditure is available in the NextGenerationEU green bond dashboard. The Commission is also committed to publishing annual reports on the allocation and impact of NGEU green bond proceeds. Following the first allocation report, published in the autumn of 2022, the Commission will publish its first comprehensive NGEU green bonds allocation and impact report later this year.
The Commission has also disbursed €15 billion to Ukraine under the Macro-Financial Assistance + programme, with a further disbursement of €1.5bn scheduled for later this month. This programme – which will deliver €18bn to Ukraine over the whole of 2023 – follows the disbursement of €7.2bn by the Commission in emergency MFA loans to Ukraine in 2022. Prior to that, the EU had provided over €5bn to Ukraine through five MFA programmes since 2014.
To further boost the secondary market liquidity of EU-Bonds, the Commission has introduced a framework to provide investors with pricing quotes for EU securities on electronic platforms. EU Primary Dealers started quoting prices for EU Bonds on 01 November 2023. The Commission is also working on a facility to support the use of EU-Bonds as an instrument for repurchase agreements (to be implemented by mid-2024).
|Today’s bond syndication 5-year bond Due on 5 December 2028, this bond carries a coupon of 3.125% and came at a re-offer yield of 3.226% equivalent to a reoffer price of 99.535%. The spread to mid-swap is +4 bps, which is equivalent to +54.8 bps over the Bund due on 19 October 2028 and +20.3 bps over the OAT due on 25 November 2028. The final order book was of over €66bn. 24-year NextGenerationEU Green Bond tap Due on 4 February 2048, this bond carries a coupon of 2.625% and came at a re-offer yield of 3.759% equivalent to a reoffer price of 82.173%. The spread to mid-swap is +72 bps, which is equivalent to +83.8 bps over the Bund due on 15 August 2046 and +5.8 bps over the OAT due on 25 May 2048. The final order book was of over €70bn. The joint lead managers of this transaction were Barclays, BNP, LBBW, Morgan Stanley and Nordea.|
Information on the allocation to different investors is available in the transactions section of the EU as a borrower website.
The EU funding programme has proven remarkably resilient in the face of challenging conditions for all issuers in 2023. It is therefore fitting that the Commission achieved such a strong result in today’s deal, our last syndication of the year. Strong demand for the green line of the transaction also shows the trust investors place in the EU’s NextGenerationEU green bond programme. We will continue to build this trust with the publication of our NGEU green bond allocation impact report later this year – a key deliverable in our commitment to transparency.
Budget and Administration Commissioner Johannes Hahn (pictured) 13/11/2023