MuniFin’s first social finance projects have been selected: they include housing for special groups, a wellbeing centre and a comprehensive school

Social finance is available to MuniFin’s customers, i.e. the local government organisations and operators within non-profit housing production. The projects to be financed must belong to one of the eligible project categories within MuniFin’s framework of social finance: housing, wellbeing or education. Another requirement is that the projects promote equality, a sense of community, wellbeing or the vitality of the municipalities or areas.

– MuniFin’s customers are responsible for a significant portion of the investments made in building the Finnish society and its infrastructure. We need to examine the need for investments, as well as the benefits and economic effects of investments broadly and in the long term, not only from the point of view of their economic, but also social and environmental impacts, says MuniFin’s Head of Customer Finance Aku Dunderfelt.

– Social investments have a much more extensive impact than most people realise. A library or public swimming pool, for example, influence people’s overall wellbeing and the community in multiple ways, Dunderfelt explains.

The first social financing projects were approved at the end of May. The projects are assessed and approved by a three-member evaluation team that comprises Jouni Parkkonen, Executive Directorof Association for Advocating Affordable Rental Housing – KOVA, researcher of municipalities Jenni Airaksinen from Tampere University and Financial Specialist in charge of social funding, Päivi Petäjäniemi, from MuniFin.

– The first approved projects for social finance are excellent examples of the spectrum of investments with a strong impact. Well-designed schools and student housing, for example, can have a wide-ranging impact on children and young people’s sense of security and community. Good design increases wellbeing but also prevents social exclusion, Päivi Petäjäniemi says.

Approved social finance projects

  • Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (Hoas), several buildings
    Investing in the long life cycle of buildings constitutes sustainable urban construction that takes environmental impacts into account. Communal, high-quality housing for students plays an important role in supporting young people at a significant turning point in their lives and helps to create the preconditions for building an active, healthy everyday life and for preventing social exclusion.
  • Karstula comprehensive school, Karstula
    Well-functioning, healthy and safe facilities for early childhood education and teaching are a foundation for the well-being of children, teenagers and teaching staff alike. Solutions that support safety and a sense of community can have a significant effect on children and teenagers’ self-esteem and later life. Using the school as a venue for village events will bring vitality to the village andstrengthen community spirit and add to the municipality’s attractiveness.
  • Housing by Setlementtiasunnot, Jousenpuistonkatu, Espoo
    Setlementtiasunnot is a producer of housing whose housing concept is truly praiseworthy, as it diversifies the concept of ‘normal’, integrates members of special groups into the rest of society and supports the strengthening of all the residents’ sense of community.
    Communal housing solutions allow special groups to become involved with the wider community, which reduces loneliness, increases participation, prevents social exclusion and decreases the need for institutional housing and care. Some of the residents of these buildings are immigrants, and the project may profoundly promote their integration.
  • Sodankylä municipality, Sopukka Wellbeing Centre
    The evaluation team found the justification for the project very well founded. The circumstances in Northern Finland are exceptional due to the long distances, and regional challenges are considerable. Sopukka Wellbeing Centre’s operating model will boost the use of expert resources, make the healthcare supply chain more effective, considerably improve the safety of the region’s inhabitants and increase the region’s attractiveness. 
  • Turku Student Village Foundation, Tyyssija student housing, Turku
    Tyyssija is an ambitious sustainable development project that will impact the environment and community spirit in a versatile way. Communal, high-quality housing for students plays an important role in supporting young people at a significant turning point in their lives and helps to create the preconditions for building an active, healthy everyday life and for preventing social exclusion.
  • Versonsilmu Oy, Versokoti housing complex
    Safe and well-functioning housing solutions improve disabled children and teenagers’ access to education. Living close to the necessary services will increase their self-reliance and help them be more active, which in turn will considerably improve their mental and physical wellbeing. It will also make it easier for them to integrate with the rest of society, which will have long-term effects on the residents’ adult life.

Forerunner of responsible financing in Finland

MuniFin was the first Finnish credit institution to offer green finance back in 2016. It was also the first financial institution to provide social finance in the Nordic countries.

Responsible investment opportunities are more and more in demand in international capital markets. Resources for social finance are acquired through bonds earmarked for social projects, which are the focus of great investor demand. In 2016, MuniFin was the first Finnish green bond issuer. It is also at the front line of European financial institutions to issue social bonds.

Further information:

Päivi Petäjäniemi
Financial Specialist, Social Finance Specialist, MuniFin
Tel. +358 40 761 7665

Soili Helminen
Manager, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, MuniFin
Tel. +358 400 204 853

About MuniFin social bonds

MuniFin updates long-term funding forecast for 2020

Covid-19 pandemic will impact the borrowing needs of Finnish municipalities and social housing sector. MuniFin has strengthened its position as a market leader in its own customer sectors and estimates that its market share will continue to grow in the current challenging market environment caused by the pandemic.

Based on the new forecast, MuniFin has made small changes into the execution plan. Funding for the rest of the year will be carried out mainly as originally planned: through public benchmark markets and other tactical funding markets. As of April 17, 2020 MuniFin has issued approximately EUR 5.0 billion of new funding, which corresponds to 53% of full-year target.

More information:

Antti Kontio
Head of Funding
+358 50 3700 285

MuniFin returned to the benchmark market with an outstanding 5-year EUR benchmark amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The mandate for the new 5-year benchmark was announced on Tuesday 14 April. Books were opened on Wednesday 15 April at 10:30am Helsinki time at mid swaps +20 area. Demand for the new benchmark grew to EUR 2 billion when the books had been open for an hour. The price guidance on the deal was thus revised to mid swaps +18 area. The final spread was set after books had been open for ~1.5h at mid swaps +16 area, when books had reached EUR 2.8 billion. The final order book was over EUR 3.6 billion when books closed.

The orderbook was of very high quality. 46% of the allocations went to Central Banks & Official Institutions, 45% to Banks, 7% to Asset Managers and 2% to Insurance/Pension Funds. In terms of geography, 76% of the investors were from Europe (excl. Nordics), 19% from the Nordics, 4% from Americas and 1% came from Asia.

The benchmark was priced at mid swaps +16 area and pays an annual coupon of 0%. The spread over the OBL 0% due April 2025 was 56.4 bps.

– It was an excellent achievement to issue such a successful benchmark under the current market backdrop. It was also exceptional that a benchmark was executed while working from home both at the issuer’s as well as the joint lead managers’ end. This demonstrates that MuniFin is able to ensure its basic duty of securing the financing of its customers under all market conditions, says Joakim Holmström, Executive Vice President, Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.

– An impressive outcome for MuniFin’s second Euro benchmark of 2020. In a very challenging market, the transaction captured the attention of a broad range of investors resulting in a heavily oversubscribed issue highlighting the MuniFin’s well established investor base.  Citi was pleased to have been part of this success, says Philip Brown, Head of Public Sector DCM at Citi, who acted as a joint lead manager in the deal.

Issue Size:       EUR 1 billion
Settlement Date: 22 April 2020
Maturity Date:  22 April 2025
Coupon:   0% Fixed coupon
Re-offer Price:  100.476%
Re-offer Yield:  -0.095%
Re-offer vs Mid Swaps: +16 bps
Lead Managers:    Barclays / Citi / Morgan Stanley / Nordea

Further information:

Joakim Holmström, Executive Vice President, Capital Markets, MuniFin, tel. +358 9 6803 5674
Antti Kontio, Head of Funding, MuniFin, tel. +358 9 6803 5634

MuniFin’s signature award to Oulu: Momo’s Bubbles charmed the jury with their authenticity and originality

During the 2019–2020 academic year, participants ran mini-companies that operated on real money as part of the JA Company Programme. The programme is carried out as part of the curriculum. In early 2020, more than 450 JA companies and 1,400 students took part in the semi-finals in 14 cities.

The Momo’s Bubbles team consists of Lucrezia Adora Ng, Raya Amokachi, Raha Torabihaghighi ja John Joseph who are Grade 9 students at Oulu International School.

Momo’s Bubbles serves Taiwanese bubble tea, a milky tea drink with chewy tapioca pearls. While wildly popular in many countries, bubble tea continues to be an exotic treat in Finland. In Oulu, Momo’s Bubbles is the first company to serve this drink.

A personal and distinctive brand and enthusiastic approach

According to the competition’s jury, made up of JA Finland’s partners, the business idea of Momo’s Bubbles was very topical. The jury was particularly impressed with the company’s strong, authentic and personal brand and the team’s approach to entrepreneurship.

“Momo’s Bubbles was positively bubbling with joy. The team’s energy was infectious, but the customers also praised the actual product, the bubble tea. During the programme, the team worked ambitiously to improve their production process, develop new flavours and offer options to accommodate for people with special diets”, says Kirsi Räbinä, director at MuniFin and jury member at the finals.

“The team members presented themselves very naturally, and their cheerful brand image reflected the team very well. Their business idea has great potential to grow and expand through collaboration agreements or licensing”, said the jury. Although there are a host of chains offering various beverages on the market, the jury was convinced that Momo’s Bubbles would stand out from the competition in a positive manner.

Paying it forward

The Momo’s Bubbles logo sports the company mascot, Momo the sloth. The company donates 10% of all sales to charity, using the proceeds to help sloths that were endangered in the 2019 Amazon forest fires.

“The Momo’s Bubbles team is going to go far. They are striving to move forward and are passionate about making their mark on the world”, commends Kirsi Räbinä.

The prize for the MuniFin #Huomisentekijät signature award is a sparring session with Jenny Pitkänen of the YouTube channel Jennysvoices. Pitkänen is a JA alumni whose JA company once made it to the national finals in the Company of the Year Competition.

Because social media has played a vital role in Pitkänen’s career, she will give the winning team tips on how to market their company on social media. The winners can decide together with Pitkänen what other topics the sparring session will cover.

Watch the Momo’s Bubbles video pitch here:

Year 2019 in figures: MuniFin’s annual report and green bonds impact report for 2019 are published

MuniFin published its annual report 2019 On 4 March 2020. Responsibility report, which was previously published as a separate report, is now included in the annual report. At the same time, the company also published its green bonds impact report for 2019.

Watch the video below to see how MuniFin’s President and CEO Esa Kallio and the Head of Customer Finance Aku Dunderfelt sum up the year 2019.

New initiatives in sustainable finance

MuniFin has offered green finance for its customers since 2016. With the help of green finance the company wants to accelerate new projects supporting climate goals in Finland. By the end of 2019, 101 projects all over the country had been granted green finance and the amount of green finance disbursed totalled EUR 1.263 billion. In addition to environmental benefits, green finance enable also various social and economic impacts both locally and regionally.

– MuniFin green finance has steadily grown over four years to nearly EUR 1.5 billion. While there is no doubt that this is a significant amount, it is still too little. More trailblazers are needed to show others the way and to make the benefits of environmental investments more visible. The existing culture must be shaken across all sectors and in every investment decision, and transformed into a more environmentally sustainable model, says Rami Erkkilä, who is responsible for green finance product development at MuniFin.

In February 2020, MuniFin published its Social Bond Framework and launched social finance in the market. Social finance is targeted at investments in non-profit housing promoting equality and sense of community, as well as investments in wellbeing and education.

MuniFin annual report 2019 >

MuniFin Green bonds impact report 2019 >

MuniFin social bonds >

Further information:

Soili Helminen, Manager, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, tel. +358 400 204 853

Eeva Toivonen, ESG Analyst, tel. +358 50 464 3073

Nordic issuers release 2020 update to their green bonds impact reporting guide

The Position Paper on Green Bonds Impact Reporting, originally launched in October 2017 by a group of ten Nordic public sector issuers, has been published in an updated version. The new version replaces the January 2019 version.  

– We find great value in working together. Advancing impact reporting practices remains a priority for all of us, says Björn Bergstrand, Head of Sustainability at Sweden’s Kommuninvest and coordinator of the Nordic cooperation.

With the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan and the EU Green Bond Standard (EU GBS) soon to become a reality, the Nordic issuers are anticipating even stronger interest for a harmonised approach to green bonds impact reporting going forward. The group aims to contribute to the development of a methodology in this field.

– While the EU GBS and the Taxonomy are not yet in full force, certain recommendations have been added to accommodate the suggested requirements, says Björn Bergstrand.

This includes recommendations on providing both allocation and impact reporting, to distinguish between financing and refinancing, and to report a breakdown of projects by the nature of what is being financed. In addition, the Position Paper’s existing mapping to the SDGs has been expanded to incorporate also the EU Environmental Objectives. 

The updated recommendations will see the Nordic issuers report less CO2 impact, in relative terms, from many of their financed green investments. This is because the baseline emission factor for electricity has been revised downwards, from 380 g CO2e/kWh to 315 g CO2e/kWh, to echo updated grid factors from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).

Torunn Brånå, Head of Green Finance at Norway’s Kommunalbanken and chairperson of the cooperation’s technical/environmental working group, says the emission factor for electricity is a key assumption when calculating the environmental impact of the projects financed.

– Deciding on a joint approach for estimating the impact of electricity used, reduced or produced has been one of the important tasks of this group. Now, for the first time, the emission factor has been updated to reflect mainly a more ambitious expected decarbonisation of the European energy grids.

Torunn Brånå says revising the grid factor to result in less reported CO2 impact is good news.

– This means the development of our energy systems are going in the right direction. The revision will lower the positive impact of energy efficiency projects and renewable energy production, whilst reducing the negative impact of an increased use of electricity, be it for electrical bus fleets or the operation of a project.

Although developed with the primary aim of assisting Nordic public sector borrowers in reporting the environmental impact from their investments, signatories also hope that the Position Paper will prove useful for issuers from the private sector, issuers from other countries as well as for the investor community.

– Resolving climate issues is at the heart of government agendas and policy papers all over the world, with various actors increasingly being expected to demonstrate their impact and climate actions. The financial industry has a key role in the transition, not least in providing robust and credible transparency to stakeholders, says Eeva Toivonen, ESG Analyst at MuniFin and the Finnish spokesperson for the Nordic cooperation.

The Position Paper has been developed by a group comprising public sector green bond issuers from the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They include the local government funding agencies Kommunalbanken (Norway), Kommuninvest (Sweden) and MuniFin (Finland); the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK); and seven Swedish municipal or regional issuers including City of Gothenburg, the municipalities of Lund, Norrköping, Västerås and Örebro, Region Skåne and Region Stockholm.

The issuers’ work is supported by SEB and Crédit Agricole CIB, with input from CICERO Shades of Green, the Nordic Investment Bank, as well as several investors.

About the Nordic Position Paper on Green Bonds Impact Reporting

The Nordic Position Paper proposes an outline for reporting environmental benefits of green bond investments. It also provides guidance on general matters such as to distinguish between reduced and avoided emissions, as well as to report impact in relation to disbursed green bond allocations.

Moreover, the Paper provides suggestions for metrics and indicators relevant to eight different project categories. The effort builds upon reporting approaches suggested by the Green Bond Principles and multilateral development banks, as outlined in the GBP Handbook – Harmonized Framework for Impact Reporting.

The Paper is used as the reference framework for emerging impact reporting platforms such as the Green Assets Wallet and the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network Platform. It is also referenced in the proposal for an EU Green Bonds Standard, published by the EU Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

The Paper is available for download from the signatories’ web pages such as,, and also from the ICMA Resource Centre for Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds,

Contact information

Eeva Toivonen, ESG Analyst, +358 504 643 073, email:

Secretariat for the Position Paper and main contact for questions & comments
Björn Bergstrand, Head of Sustainability, +46 708 86 94 76, e-mail:

Chairperson of the Nordic issuers technical/environmental working group
Torunn Brånå, Head of Green Finance, +47 911 58 528, e-mail:

MuniFin publishes the first Nordic SSA social bonds framework and launches a new social finance product

With this launch, MuniFin continues to be the forerunner in offering sustainable finance products in Finland and in the Nordics.

MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework is aligned with the Social Bond Principles published by ICMA and ISS ESG has provided a second opinion of the framework.

Social finance project selection is based on MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework and final approval is made by the Social Evaluation Team. The team consists of two independent experts and one MuniFin representative.

Financing Finland’s welfare state

MuniFin is the largest provider of financing to municipalities and the social housing sector in Finland. Municipalities play a key role in maintaining Finland’s welfare state, as they are responsible for the majority of service production, including education and healthcare. Social housing organisations on the other hand ensure that affordable housing is available. They also aim to tackle social issues like homelessness and social exclusion.

The eligible project categories that have been selected for MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework are in the core of MuniFin’s customer finance business. Eligible project categories under the Use of Proceeds include housing, welfare and education.

The projects have to meet additional criteria in order to be eligible for the Social Finance product. In the selection process, special emphasis is placed on targeting the most vulnerable parts of the population and areas where investments by the municipalities will likely have the greatest impact on the area’s vitality.

Social financing funded by social bonds

MuniFin plans to issue an inaugural benchmark sized Social Bond in the second half of 2020 and intends to make it an integral part of the annual funding program going forward. MuniFin’s themed bond issuances, consisting of green and social bonds, will account for roughly 10–15% of new funding annually.

– Corporate responsibility is in the very DNA of MuniFin. We strive to be in the forefront in the responsibility of our products and services, processes and operations. It seemed only natural to take this new step in broadening our sustainable product offering, says Joakim Holmström, the Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.

MuniFin was the first credit institution in Finland to launch green finance for environmental investments in 2016. In the same year, the agency also issued Finland’s inaugural green bond.

Read more about MuniFin Social Bonds:

Information on social bonds, MuniFin Social Bonds Framework and a ISS ESG’s second party opinion on the framework are available at our Social Bonds site >

Further information:

Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets
tel. +358 50 444 3638

Soili Helminen, Manager, Communications and CSR
tel. +358 400 204 853

MuniFin’s inaugural results webcast on 14 February 2020

Municipality Finance Plc will publish the financial statements for year 2019 on 13 February 2020. A webcast for investors and other stakeholders will be arranged in English on 14 February at 1:00 pm (EET) and broadcast live at A video recording will be available after the webcast on this webpage.


Esa Kallio, President and CEO
Timo Vesala, Chief Economist
Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets

There will be an opportunity to ask questions via chat channel after the presentations.

A recording of the webcast is available at

Further information:

Soili Helminen, Manager, Communications & CSR, MuniFin
tel. + 358 400 204 853

Edited on 17 February 2020: Added a mention about the opportunity to watch a recording of the webcast.

Overwhelming demand for MuniFin’s EUR 1.5 billion benchmark

The announcement for the new November 2024 EUR benchmark was announced to the market late morning in London at 11:00 UKT on the 7th of January, with books officially opening the following morning at 8:15 UKT.

Demand for this deal was extensive and the orderbook started to build up quickly. The first update was provided to the market at 9:08 UKT with books in excess of EUR 1.8bn and guidance revised to MS –4 bps area. The final spread was set shortly after at MS –5 bps with final books finishing at EUR 3.9bn after closing at 11:05 UKT.

This transaction attracted a high quality group of investors and the composition of allocations was as follows: Official Institutions (47%), Banks (33%), Asset Managers (18%) and Insurance / Pensions Funds (2%).

The orderbook was very granular with diversified allocation to different geographical locations as follows: Benelux (24%), Nordics (20%), France (14%), Asia (7%), Other Europe (25%) and Other (10%).

Comments on the transaction

– An impressive outcome for MuniFin, refreshing their EUR curve with a new short 5 year benchmark. With a very high quality orderbook, pricing at at the tight end of guidance and with minimal new issue premium, the deal attracted MuniFin’s largest order book to date underscoring the extent of MuniFin’s investor following. Danske Bank is delighted to have supported MuniFin on this important transaction.
Gustav Landström, Global Head of SSA Origination Danske Bank, who acted as a joint lead manager in the transaction

– An outstanding result for MuniFin with their largest ever euro Benchmark. They showed great initiative to be the first Nordic SSA to come to the EUR market and were rewarded with an exceptionally strong quality orderbook amidst a very heavy supply backdrop
Adrien De Naurois, Managing Director, BofA Securities

– This impressive result from MuniFin is due to the agility to take hold of a strong window following the reopening of the market in 2020. The successful strategy of offering investors an attractive maturity and pricing level exceeded expectations. This is highly evident when looking at the record size final orderbook and notable quality of investors that took part. Nabil Menai, Managing Director, Global Head of SSA DCM at Natixis, who acted as a joint lead manager in the transaction

– MuniFin returned to the Euro market with a smashing transaction. Despite the geopolitical unrest, which could have hurt investor sentiment, the issuer assertively took the window. The heavy supply from sovereign issuers did not distract investors from the quality of the MuniFin offering and they got a record orderbook. It allowed a pricing very close to fair value and a distribution of the highest quality.
Olivier Vion, Head of SSA DCM and Syndicate, Société Générale

Details of the transaction

Issue sizeEUR 1.5 billion
Payment date15/01/2020
Maturity date15/11/2024
Re-offer price101.183%
Re-offer yield-0.243%
Re-offer vs mid-swaps-5 bps
Lead managersBank of America, Danske Bank, Natixis, Société Générale

Further information:

Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets, tel. +358 9 6803 5674

Antti Kontio, Head of Funding, tel. +358 9 6803 5634