MuniFin awarded as the Best SSA ESG Bond Issuer

The award is given to an SSA, Sovereigns, Supranational, and Agencies, borrower that is active in international and local SSA bond markets, offering a full range of products, in private and public format, in multiple currencies across the yield curve and to the broadest range of SSA ESG bond investors. CMD Portal is an independent collaborative market data network for bond and money market professionals. 

CMD Portal praised MuniFin for our long-term commitment to sustainability. In October, one highlight on our ESG path, was the publication of the new Sustainability Agenda with clear long-term objectives for our sustainability efforts. The agenda sets two main themes: supporting the Finnish welfare society and accelerating Finland’s green transition through our financing, for which we source funds with our sustainable bonds.  

“Our customers play a significant role in achieving Finland’s climate goals. Therefore, we aim for at least one-third of long-term customer financing to be green and social finance by 2030. The most notable change compared to our previous initiatives, is that we set reduction targets for financed buildings. Our goal is to achieve a reduction to 8 kgCO2 per m2 by 2035 and our green finance plays a vital role in achieving this target”, says Sustainability Analyst Mikko Noronen from MuniFin’s Funding and Sustainability team. 

On the sustainable bonds front, the year had two successful issuances. In February, MuniFin issued a record-sized EUR 1 billion green bond, which was the largest ever EUR denominated green bond by a Nordic SSA issuer. It was quickly nearly twice oversubscribed and 80% of the high-quality orderbook was allocated to ESG investors. Another highlight was the successful USD 100 million social bond in August, which was issued as a private placement. 

“The past year continued to be successful on the ESG front and we are extremely happy for this recognition. We aim to maintain our presence in the sustainable bonds market also next year when we are planning to issue EUR 9 –10 billion of new long-term funding. The sizes of our sustainable bonds will depend on the development of the customer financing portfolio”, says Senior Manager Karoliina Kajova from MuniFin’s Funding team. 

MuniFin also wins runner-up for the Best ESG Issuer Award. Our active presence and successful issuances have been acknowledged by CMD Portal also before. In April, MuniFin’s record-size green bond earned the TopDeal acknowledgement, and in January, MuniFin earned the award of the Best Structured Notes Issuer, which was the third year in a row for this recognition.  

MuniFin is Finland’s pioneer in sustainable finance 

In 2016, MuniFin was the first financial institution in Finland to offer green finance for climate and environmentally friendly projects and was the first Finnish issuer of green bonds.  

In 2020, MuniFin became the first financial institution in Finland to issue social bonds, which is offered to projects that promote equality, communality, safety, welfare, or regional vitality.  

These bonds are an integral part of our funding strategy. Both green and social bonds have their own frameworks. 

Read more about our green and social bonds

Read more 

MuniFin issues a record-breaking EUR 1 billion green bond 

MuniFin’s sustainability agenda aims to increase the amount of sustainable finance and reduce financed emissions 

Further information  

Antti Kontio – Head of Funding and Sustainability  

+358 50 3700 285  

Mikko Noronen – Sustainability Analyst, Funding and Sustainability 

+358 50 479 7533 

Karoliina Kajova – Senior Manager, Funding  

+358 50 5767 707  

Lari Toppinen – Senior Analyst, Funding 

+358 50 4079 300  

Aaro Koski – Analyst, Funding 

+358 45 138 7465 

“Huomisen talous” Podcast: Holiday Special with MuniFin’s Funding Team

The past year has been far from ordinary. Low interest rates and inflation have been replaced by a historically fast rate-hiking cycle. So how did MuniFin’s funding look like over this extraordinary year – and what’s in store for 2024?  

The final episode of 2023 in our Huomisen Talous (i.e., ”Tomorrow’s Economy”) podcast differs a little from our regular broadcasting and switches to English. MuniFin’s field covers the Finnish public sector, but our Funding team also works with a wide range of international partners and investors outside of Finland. You can learn more about the MuniFin Funding team’s work also on our YouTube channel (link).

Chief Economist Timo Vesala sits down with Senior Funding Manager Karoliina Kajova and Funding Analyst Aaro Koski to discuss MuniFin’s issuances in 2023 and what the market looked like, as well as what are the plans for next year and the Finnish economy’s current outlook. Listen to the podcast below!

This episode concludes the podcast for 2023. The podcast’s spring season starts after the holiday break: the first episode of 2024 will appear on January 23rd. Listen and follow us on Spotify, SoundCloud or on Apple’s and Google’s podcast services.

MuniFin donates to youth and families, and to children’s cancer research

We interviewed both foundations about their mission and the role donations play in their operations. Leena Poutanen, the Director of Communications and Fundraising at the Mannerheim League tells us how they are present in the daily lives of children, youth and adults of all ages. Laura Paasio, the Executive Director of AAMU, explains the importance of donations for clinical cancer research for children in Finland.

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare: the goal is a child-friendly Finland

The Mannerheim League (MLL) is an NGO that promotes the wellbeing of children, young people, and families. MLL offers its services nationwide to prevent problems in everyday life.

“Many families get to know our foundation through the peer support programs in schools, or by finding our family cafés where they get peer support for raising small children”, says Leena Poutanen, Director of Communications and Fundraising for MLL.

Christmas season highlights the loneliness of children and young people

Family time over the holidays is not a happy and joyful occasion for everyone. Families whose day-to-day life is already difficult, can face challenges during the holidays as routines and hobbies are put on hold for several weeks.

“Loneliness and anxiety among children and youths is unfortunately prevalent during the holidays, especially in families that lack support networks and safe adults. Our helplines and chats are open every day on Christmas and we also receive a lot of calls”, Poutanen says.

A healthy and secure childhood creates the foundation for wellbeing in adulthood

MLL helps people in all kinds of situations. Peer support and preventive action can have a major role in solving everyday problems. If issues are left unresolved, intervening typically becomes more and more challenging over time.

“The MLL Youth Network, Nuortennetti, is one of Finland’s most active platforms for young people. It’s a safe space that lets youths chat with each other as well as with a professional. Our website has over 200,000 visits annually. Young people visiting the site want to talk about questions that matter to them, such as sexuality, bullying, and relationships with parents and other adults in their life”, Poutanen says.

MLL’s work extends to all people from new parents to children, youths, young adults and senior citizens. For those considering parenthood, MLL helps with questions about what it means having children in this day and age. Seniors can also volunteer for MLL, for example, by acting as a ”borrowed” grandparent for a family.

One in five euros comes through donations

Valuing childhood starts by investing in social and health services for children and young people. According to Poutanen, impacts on children should always be assessed when making decisions about government aid.

“It is estimated that poverty among families with children will increase over the coming parliamentary terms. The current government’s programme includes cuts in the aid directed at NGOs; this means the role of private donations will become more important. Many forms of daily support are based on the activities maintained by foundations. Wellbeing services counties will not be able to reach the goals set for preventive work without the help of NGOs”, Poutanen says.

“Donations from private citizens and companies are hugely significant when it comes to planning our long-term activities. Currently, one in five euros we need comes through donations. Every penny matters: that’s why we are highly grateful for the Christmas donation made by MuniFin. This support will be directed to work that strengthens youth participation, supports the mental health of children and young people, and work that supports the parents.”

AAMU Children’s Cancer Foundation: life is worth researching

The AAMU Children’s Cancer Foundation funds clinical cancer research for children in Finnish University Hospitals. The foundation was established a decade ago to fill a gap in public funding.

“AAMU is the only foundation in Finland funding clinical cancer research for children. Public funding for this type of clinical research has never come from the state treasury”, explains Laura Paasio, the foundation’s Executive Director.

Clinical research is the prerequisite to developing treatment methods

University Hospitals treat children with cancer and develop new, improved treatment methods. Basic research receives grants from various sources, but it alone is not enough to develop treatments. Clinical studies are a vital link between treatments and basic research. Funding for clinical research was in danger ten years ago, even though it is necessary in developing more efficient, individual treatments.

“Projects for clinical research treatment take years. Current legislation prevents units from sharing information with each other, if one of them is not an official member of the research project. AAMU funds research costs and also sees to it that the funding supports all research projects that are opened”, Paasio explains.

The most modern cancer treatments – the goal is a healthy adulthood

The majority of AAMU Foundation’s funding is directed to children’s clinical cancer research. In the 1980s, the prognosis for recovery from a childhood cancer was only 20%. In recent decades, this figure has jumped up to 80%. The goal of the AAMU Foundation is a world where each child’s cancer could be cured.

“It is also important to note that cancer can be a different disease when it hits a child and when it hits an adult. That’s why it is extremely important to do separate research dedicated for children: more than 200 varieties of cancer among children have treatments and medication that are different compared to adult cancers and their methods of treatment”, Paasio says.

The foundation also wants to enable a healthy adulthood for every child diagnosed with cancer. Over 60 percent of child patients experience later effects at some stage of life, either due to the cancer itself or the treatments that can take a harsh toll on the body.

What’s the significance of donations to AAMU’s operations?

“Every donation is vital to us, as without them we would not exist. It warms our hearts that MuniFin wanted to offer us a donation: it goes to ensuring clinical research for next year”, Paasio says.

Private individuals and companies can donate to the foundation’s efforts in all modern methods, through one-time donations or recurring monthly donations.

“Currently we fund dozens of clinical research projects into children’s cancer in Finnish University Hospitals. This means that almost each and every type of childhood cancer is being researched. Thanks to donations made to AAMU, Finland is one of the leading countries in the ALLtogether research project for acute lymphatic leukemia”, Paasio says.

Read more:
The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare
AAMU Suomen Lasten Syöpäsäätiö (in Finnish)

MuniFin’s funding forecast for 2024: EUR 9–10 billion

The plan is to issue approximately 60% of the long-term funding through EUR and USD benchmarks and the rest through other public markets (e.g., GBP, NOK, AUD) and private placements. MuniFin will aim to focus slightly more on the other public markets in 2024. The maturity target for the year will be around 5 years. 

MuniFin also aims to continue its commitment to issue green and social bonds next year. Sizes will depend on the underlying asset development of the customer financing portfolio. 

In 2023, MuniFin has issued approximately EUR 10 billion of new long-term funding and the program is nearly completed. This year MuniFin has issued five new EUR and USD benchmarks, together with several EUR taps on the existing lines. Three of the benchmarks were in EUR and two in USD.

MuniFin had a record year on the green side, as MuniFin issued a new long 5-year EUR 1 billion green bond, which was the largest EUR green bond of all time in the Nordic SSA market at the time in February. MuniFin also issued a USD 100 million 4-year social bond in private placement format in August.

In other public markets, the main currencies have been GBP and NOK, but MuniFin has also issued in CHF and NZD. MuniFin has been more active proportionally in EUR and USD benchmarks this year than last year. 

The top four issuance currencies in 2023 are thus far EUR (51%), USD (28%), GBP (11%) and NOK (4%). These currencies account for over 94% of the new funding issued in 2023. 

Further information 

Antti Kontio – Head of Funding and Sustainability 

+358 50 3700 285 

Karoliina Kajova – Senior Manager, Funding 

+358 50 5767 707 

Lari Toppinen – Senior Analyst, Funding 

+358 50 4079 300 

Aaro Koski – Analyst, Funding 

+358 45 1387 465 

The city of Kokkola is the Green Pioneer of the year 2023

MuniFin warmly congratulates the city of Kokkola and the Piispanmäki multipurpose building on winning the Green Pioneer of the Year competition.

Over the course of the autumn 2023, MuniFin has looked at five finalists in the company’s competition for the title of Green Pioneer. Each of them has worked ambitiously to advance climate and environmental goals. Of these five finalists, the city of Kokkola and the city’s Piispanmäki multipurpose building project have now been chosen as the green pioneer of 2023. The multipurpose building, which will serve schoolchildren, daycare children, and city employees, will be completed in Piispanmäki in 2025.

Watch the video to see why Kokkola was awarded and what the prize money will be used for.

Sustainability and change were boldly taken into their own hands in Kokkola

The selection and evaluation of the finalists was the done by the Green Finance Team at MuniFin. Sustainability finance experts saw exemplary characteristics in each of the five finalists and their flagship projects. However, what made Piispanmäki special was how strongly the project showed commitment of the city to the realization of sustainable investment.

In Piispanmäki, achieving environmental goals has been ensured by taking the implementation of the project into their own hands. This has required careful resource allocation, participation, and commitment throughout the organization, the Green Finance Team assesses. This success, in turn, requires an effort to dismantle silos and familiar ways and create new practices. The planning of the project reflects familiarity with the requirements of green financing, such as energy efficiency and renewable self-sufficiency energy. The building will act as a learning environment for sustainable development. These factors made a deep impression on MuniFin’s experts.

“What was impressive was the extent to which sustainable construction has been examined in Kokkola, but also the precise and detailed material that made it easy for the Green Finance Team to assess the project. I would use the power word “ownership”: the city has boldly taken the themes of change into their own hands and preferred to do things themselves rather than buy things from outside. This has resulted in excellent impacts in the Piispanmäki project”, praises Rami Erkkilä, Senior Expert on Sustainable Financing at MuniFin.

The city of Kokkola has followed its strategic goals impressively and the work has been supported by the whole organization. At the same time, valuable learnings are accumulated and can be applied in future projects.

“Kokkola joined the Hinku network in June 2022. The following year, MuniFin chose us as the green pioneer of the year. We are enormously proud of this recognition. This has been a tremendous success story and speaks of the potential of the city in implementing sustainable development projects. The passion and desire of all stakeholders to not only achieve but also exceed the set goals have made this an exceptional experience. Of course, it also challenges and obliges us to continue the same path”, comments Veli-Matti Isoaho, Building Manager of the city of Kokkola, on the victory.

The prize money is used to involve Kokkola’s children and young people in green thinking

The Green Pioneer competition prize is 10,000 euros, which the winner can use freely for a sustainable development project of their choice. In Kokkola, there is already a preliminary idea of the use of the funds.

“We plan to organize a competition for schoolchildren, where the children get to brainstorm competition entries related to nature topics, such as recycling or climate change mitigation. The most creative and idea-rich works of each age group will be rewarded. The environment is a central issue for the happiness of younger generations. That’s why in Kokkola we also believe in the input of children and young people and want them to join in brainstorming a green future”, describes Isoaho.

The Green Pioneer of the Year was awarded for the first time in 2019, when the city of Joensuu won the competition with its “comprehensive approach”.

MuniFin thanks all the finalists of 2023 for their exemplary work on climate and environmental issues and for making these goals a part of everyday life. The other four finalists in the Green Pioneer of the Year competition were the municipality of Siuntio, the municipality of Pirkkala, Y-Säätiö (a foundation providing affordable social housing) and Sivakka (an affordable social housing provider owned by the City of Oulu.

Criteria for Piispanmäki multipurpose building’s victory:

  • In Kokkola, there is an exceptional ownership in the implementation of sustainable development projects. Their own expertise is actively developed.
  • In Kokkola, they have succeeded in an exemplary way in breaking down organizational silos and creating new ways of working.
  • The project is being implemented in accordance with exceptionally comprehensive sustainability goals, which at the same time reflect the best practices of green finance listed in the MuniFin’s Green Bond Framework.
  • Excellent environmental performance is achieved through energy-efficient solutions, but also through materials and certified practices at different stages of construction.
  • The diverse consideration and utilization of the environment as part of teaching and user experience.
  • The significant size of the building and its impacts during construction and use.
  • The building’s position in its environment as a place that brings together different stakeholders, which in part reduces local emissions and reduces the need for errand travel.
  • Social and societal ripple effects, for example, to different hobby and activity groups. The building offers extensive facilities for third sector activities.

The new urban trams in the capital region are leading towards a low emission future

At the end of October, the fast tram 15, which runs from Keilaniemi in Espoo to Itäkeskus in Helsinki, started its operations. This approximately 25-kilometre-long line replaces the previously heavily trafficked bus line 550. Other new line starting its operations in 2024, connects the current tram, metro, and train networks to each other on the route between Kalasatama and Pasila.

Green financing accelerates low emission public transport

Both tram projects have been financed with MuniFin’s green financing. This form of financing is intended for investment projects that produce clear and measurable positive effects on the climate and the environment. According to Satu Talvio, environmental expert at Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd, MuniFin was a natural financing partner, as the projects are based on reducing emissions and being environmentally friendly.

“The projects have been implemented based on political will, the aim of which is sustainable growth and dense urban structure of the city. Tram projects enable residents to move around with low emissions and reduce traffic carbon emissions. The responsibility of urban transport, on the other hand, is to build rail infrastructure with as low emissions as possible. Our strategic goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030”, says Talvio.

Both projects have been implemented with the alliance model, in which the client organisation established by the cities, the planner and the contractor merge into a single alliance organisation.

“This type of cooperation has produced many new insights and innovations. Thanks to the alliance model, the process is more transparent, and the total costs are lower than in the traditional contract model. In addition, possible risks are shared equally among all parties”, Talvio continues.

Learning opportunities and low-emission mobility

Both tram projects are significant, as they are the first major rail investments in the capital region for a long time.

“Along the way, we have learned a lot about material efficiency, circular economy, and certifications. The project named Raide-Jokeri or fast tram 15 has progressed excellently and was completed ahead of schedule. On the other hand, global crises and the resulting price increases have had a greater impact on the cost increase of the Kalasatama to Pasila project due to the timing of construction, but they have not affected the schedule”, Talvio recounts.

Karoliina Rajakallio, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer of Kaupunkiliikenne Oy, also sees the projects as development laboratories.

We are not only developing the end result of the project, but at the same time we are learning and creating guidelines for future projects, Rajakallio states.

The rail projects have many effects on the everyday life of city residents from both a mobility and urban development perspective.

“Fast trams make their impact areas more attractive and catalyse urban development projects and area renewals. They increase the demand for premises and house prices, thus improving the vitality of the areas”, Rajakallio lists.

Trams also help city residents implement green values in their daily lives.

“City residents can move from place to place with low emissions, which reduces individual carbon footprint”, Talvio continues.

Fast tram traffic has started well after the initial minor technical challenges.

“Although the large number of passengers on the opening weekend caused minor schedule delays, the situation has since levelled off. The operation and adherence to the schedule of fast tram traffic are now at a good level. Overall, the start of fast tram traffic has gone very smoothly”, Talvio says.

Green Finance

MuniFin grants green financing to projects that generate clear and measurable positive climate and environmental impacts. Green financing, that is more affordable than ordinary loans or leasing, has been granted since 2016, and today there are over 300 projects within the financing from Helsinki to Inari.

Read more about green bonds

The green finance trio drives sustainable development in Finland and monitors international regulation

MuniFin’s internal assessment team for green financing recently celebrated its first anniversary. The three-member team was established in August-September 2022, when the company updated its green financing framework. The new framework has streamlined the granting of green financing: the external assessment team was abandoned, and the responsibility for evaluating projects was transferred internally to Rami Erkkilä, Mikko Noronen and Kalle Kinnunen.

“The internal assessment team can convene quickly if necessary. This means that projects can be evaluated as soon as customers need financing”, says Sustainability Manager Kinnunen.

The schedule is flexible, but the criteria are not. MuniFin’s new green financing framework is stricter and more transparent than ever.

“For example, green financing is no longer granted for projects that use fossil energy sources directly for heating”, clarifies Erkkilä, who is a senior expert in responsible financing in the team.

Evaluation, reporting, and impact calculation

Project evaluation and document review take up a large part of Erkkilä’s and Noronen’s working days. To be selected for the green financing portfolio, two members of the evaluation team must assess and approve the project. Kinnunen, who leads MuniFin’s sustainability work, substitutes for the duo if necessary.

“Throughout the week, we review each other’s decision proposals and discuss them in meetings on Fridays”, says the newest member of the MuniFin team, Noronen, who started as a Sustainability Analyst in May of last year.

“If a decision requires more detailed information, we can ask the customer for clarification. The external assessment team met less frequently, and then the decision was either a ‘yes’ or a ’no'”, Erkkilä recalls.

The trio also participates in customer meetings, maintains contact with banks and other stakeholders, and follows the regulation revolving around responsible financing. A significant part of their work is the annual impact reporting of green financing, i.e., calculating and publishing the environmental impacts of the projects.

At the intersection of domestic and international

One foot of the assessment team is in the domestic market, the other in the international markets.

“On the one hand, you have to look at where financing is granted and what the law in Finland says. On the other hand, you have to consider what international regulation and investors require. You have to be credible in both directions”, Kinnunen reflects.

Discrepancies may also arise when going into details, for example, talking about water flow rates.

“The EU taxonomy states that water should not flow in showers faster than eight liters per minute. Finnish building regulations have a minimum level of nine liters per minute. It’s pretty difficult to reconcile these two”, Erkkilä notes.

These and other “usability challenges” are currently being solved in working groups set up by the Union. However, it is certain that regulation around sustainable financing is tightening. At the same time, more is demanded from reporting.

“The bar is being raised and customers are probably expected to provide even more detailed information. It’s a good idea to prepare for this”, Noronen advises.

Kinnunen says that the responsibility of actors and projects, as well as ESG risks, are already being viewed as a whole – in the future even more broadly.

“We are no longer focusing on just one letter. It could be that our operation changes so that we evaluate the responsibility of our customers comprehensively”, Kinnunen adds.

What kind of projects would the internal assessment team for green financing like to see more of?

“This year we evaluated our first biodiversity project. It was an interesting case, related to river restoration. We hope to see more of these”, Noronen says.

Green Finance

MuniFin grants green financing to projects that generate clear and measurable positive climate and environmental impacts. Green financing, that is more affordable than ordinary loans or leasing, has been granted since 2016, and today there are over 300 projects within the financing from Helsinki to Inari.

Read more about green bonds

MuniFin’s new sustainability agenda aims to increase the share of sustainable finance and reduce financed emissions

The sustainability agenda primarily focuses on the long-term impact generated through the MuniFin’s business, i.e., the products and services offered to MuniFin’s customers, the Finnish public sector and affordable social housing sector. It defines a clearer direction and objectives for the company’s sustainability efforts, extending up to 2035. The agenda helps in meeting future regulations and enhances communication and reporting with customers, investors, and other key stakeholders. 

“The sustainability agenda is our way of measuring and communicating what we aim to achieve through our work. Our goals are now more aligned with what we are already doing and what we aspire to achieve in the future,” says Esa Kallio, CEO of MuniFin. 

“We wanted to update our perspective on what is crucial for sustainability in the context of our business and core mandate. We also wanted to set goals and metrics that more clearly describe our essential role in the Finnish welfare society,” adds Mikko Noronen, the Sustainability Analyst involved in developing the sustainability agenda. 

Key themes include supporting the welfare society and accelerating Finland’s green transition 

The sustainability agenda consists of three parts. The first part addresses MuniFin’s business environment from the perspective of sustainable development and how our operations relate to national and international goals. The agenda’s second and most important part includes the actual themes, goals, and metrics for MuniFin’s sustainability efforts. The third part discusses the future of the company’s sustainability work. 

The long-term metrics set include two related to sustainable finance and the company’s first emissions reduction target for financed buildings.  

“MuniFin’s customers play a significant role in achieving Finland’s climate goals. Our most substantial positive impact comes through our business, i.e., the financing we provide. Therefore, we aim for at least one-third of long-term customer financing to be green and social finance by 2030. At the end of June, the share was 18%”, says Noronen. 

During the development of the sustainability agenda, the maximum amount of margin discount offered for green financing was increased as an incentive for even more sustainable projects. 

“However, the most notable change in our sustainability efforts compared to our previous initiatives is the establishment of emissions reduction targets for the buildings we finance. Our goal is to achieve a reduction to 8 kgCO2 per m2 by 2035, which represents a 38% decrease from the 2022 levels. To reach this target, we will maintain continuous monitoring, engage in ongoing dialogue, and facilitate knowledge exchange with our customers”, explains Noronen. 

MuniFin has been developing emissions calculations for a while and, for example, joined the PCAF initiative in 2022. The network’s goal is to develop and implement a unified way of calculating and reporting financed emissions to promote the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. By joining, MuniFin committed to measuring and disclosing its emissions within three years. 

In addition to MuniFin employees, customers, investors, and other key stakeholders participated in the development of the sustainability adenda. 

 “We conducted a materiality analysis, which helped clarify our goals and our role even further,” says Noronen. 

In the agenda’s third part, which discusses the future of the company’s sustainability work, there is a commitment to review the goals within two years. 

“Goal achievement will be monitored annually as part of our annual reporting, and goals may be expanded or tightened as necessary. The document will also be updated as business environment changes, such as changes in national or international legislation and best practices in the markets,” Noronen explains. 

“Although the sustainability agenda largely focuses on our external means of impact, our employees remain the most crucial implementers of sustainability. Therefore, it is increasingly important for us to invest in developing a culture of sustainability and expertise,” says Kallio. 

Explore MuniFin’s sustainability agenda: 

MuniFin is a pioneer in sustainable finance in Finland 

In 2016, the company became the first financial institution in Finland to offer green finance for climate and environmentally friendly projects and was the first Finnish issuer of green bonds. 

In 2020, MuniFin was the first financial institution in Finland to issue social bonds, which is offered to projects that promote equality, communality, safety, welfare, or regional vitality. 

Learn more about green and social bonds. (link) 

For more information: 

Antti Kontio 

Head of Funding and Sustainability 

+358 50 3700 285 

MuniFin’s second USD benchmark of the year attracted high-quality investors

Seizing the opportunity presented by favourable market conditions, MuniFin promptly announced its second USD benchmark of the year with initial price thoughts at SOFR MS+40bps area. The books opened on Thursday morning with high demand, allowing MuniFin to tighten the spread by 2bps, fixing the trade at SOFR MS+38bps.

Ultimately, the orderbooks were closed at an impressive USD 3.3 billion, leading MuniFin to set the final size at USD 1.25 billion. This issuance stands as MuniFin’s most substantial USD Benchmark since January 2021. 

“Congratulations to the MuniFin team on a successful transaction; reacting swiftly to the favourable market conditions and clear issuance window to secure their second USD Benchmark in 2023. Final demand in excess of USD 3.3bn marks one of MuniFin’s largest ever USD books; a reflection of the high-quality credit and recognition of the team’s efforts on global investor engagement. RBC was delighted to be involved and it was a pleasure working with the team on this transaction”, says Eleanor Singer, Vice President, SSA DCM, at RBC Capital Markets. 

“Maintaining our strong dedication to the USD benchmark market, we are delighted to return for the second time this year. We extend our gratitude to all the investors who participated. With this new benchmark we are almost done with our funding for 2023”, says Antti Kontio, Head of Funding and Sustainability at MuniFin.

The transaction was distributed to a broadly diversified group of investors across Europe (39.1%), Americas (28.7%), MEA (17.3%) and Asia Pacific (14.9%). The orderbook included 85 high-quality investor accounts, with significant participation from central banks and other official institutions (40.3%) and asset managers (15.3%). 

With this transaction, MuniFin has completed EUR 9.5 billion of its 9-10 billion long-term funding target for the year.

Read the press release:

Transaction details

Issuer:Municipality Finance Plc (“Munifin”) 
Ratings:Aa1 / AA+ (both Stable) by Moody’s / S&P 
Format:RegS / 144A 
Coupon:4.875% Fixed, S/A, 30/360, short first 
Size:USD1.25 billion 
Pricing Date:5th October 2023 
Payment Date:13th October 2023 (T+5) 
Maturity Date:13th January 2027 
Reoffer Spread:SOFR MS + 38 bps | CT3 + 17.2bps 
Joint Bookrunners:BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities 

Comments from the Bookrunners

“Huge congratulations to the MuniFin team for strategically taking this week’s window despite the volatile backdrop. An excellent result for MuniFin’s second USD benchmark of 2023 as illustrated by the size and depth of the orderbook. Bank of America is extremely proud to have been a part of this transaction and successfully rounding out MuniFin’s benchmark funding for 2023.” 

Robert Matthews, Vice President, SSA DCM, BofA Securities 

“Congratulations to the MuniFin team for swiftly responding to market conditions, taking advantage of a clear issuance window to price a successful transaction! The orders over $3.3bn+ not only make this one of MuniFin’s largest orderbooks but also underline investors’ confidence in MuniFin’s name. This was apt to end the benchmark funding on a high note and we’re delighted to be involved!” 

Matthieu Batard, Head of SSA Syndicate, J.P. Morgan 

“Congratulations to the entire MuniFin team on a seamlessly executed new 3yr USD transaction. MuniFin were nimble in their approach to securing an efficient funding window this week which paid off with an incredible USD 3.3bn final orderbook from a wide variety of global USD investors.” 

Paul Eustace, Managing Director, Global Co-Head of SSA and Head of Europe and Asia Syndicate, TD Securities 

Further information

Joakim Holmström – Executive Vice President, Capital Markets and Sustainability 

+358 50 4443 638 

Antti Kontio – Head of Funding and Sustainability 

+358 50 3700 285 

Karoliina Kajova – Senior Manager, Funding 

+358 50 5767 707 

Lari Toppinen – Senior Analyst, Funding 

+358 50 4079 300 

Aaro Koski – Analyst, Funding 

+358 45 1387 465