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Oslo Børs raising the profile of environmentally friendly investments

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osloSE-photo-1532604/12/2014 – “Oslo Børs is to become the first stock exchange in the world to launch a separate list for green bonds. We are doing this to draw attention to environmentally friendly investments”, comments Bente A. Landsnes, President & CEO of Oslo Børs.

“Green finance is a preferred option for many investors. An increasing number of them want to invest in green projects. We want this new list to draw attention to green investment choices”, Bente A. Landsnes continues.

Strong interest 
A number of bonds currently listed on the Oslo Børs marketplaces meet the requirements necessary to feature on the new list, with more expected to join them very soon.

“Companies recognise that there are opportunities in this market, and want to list green bonds”, comments the President & CEO of Oslo Børs.

The Norwegian energy company BKK listed its first green bond on Oslo Børs on 13 October this year. “The market response was very positive. The product is significantly more attractive due to the bonds qualifying as green investments”, explains Birger C. Schønberg, CFO of BKK, in a press release. He also explains in the same press release that the plan was to raise NOK 1 billion, but that BKK decided to raise NOK 1.1 billion on account of strong demand.

Second opinions a requirement
The money raised by issuing green bonds or certificates must be used for environmentally friendly purposes, and a second opinion on the project has to be sought in order for the issue to feature on the green list. “We require the second opinion to be made public to enable investors to understand the environmental aspects of the project”, explains Bodil Østby, Head of Strategy and Product Development at Oslo Børs / Per Gunnar Ølstad, Senior Listing Manager at Oslo Børs.

The second opinions are provided by research organisations or certification companies such as CICERO or DNV LG. The framework for BKK’s green bonds was certified by CICERO, while DNV LG provided the second opinion for the green bonds that Nord-Trøndelag Elektrisitetsverk listed last month.

Strong growth in bonds and certificates
The green lists – there will be two lists, one for bonds and certificates listed on Oslo Børs and a second for those listed on Nordic ABM – will go live on 28 January.

The Norwegian fixed income market is growing strongly. Companies have raised more loan capital on the Oslo Børs fixed income marketplaces this year than ever before. In November alone, companies raised NOK 27.9 billion in loan capital from new bond issues and increases to existing issues. So far this year, the volume of new issues, excluding issues by the Norwegian government, has reached NOK 296.8 billion. This is NOK 17.1 billion more than the record of NOK 279.6 billion set last year.

This strong growth is related to the increasing number of companies choosing to have their fixed income securities listed on the Oslo Børs marketplaces. So far this year, the number of issues listed has increased by 123 to 1, 693, and at the same time the total value of fixed income securities has increased by NOK 92 billion to NOK 1, 506 billion. In total, 348 companies have issued fixed income securities that are listed on the Oslo Børs marketplaces.

“With the largest fixed income market in the Nordic region consisting of countless Norwegian and international issues, it is important to offer a product that allows investors to find their way around the various bond issues and so create an even more investor-friendly fixed income market in Oslo”, explains Bente A. Landsnes.

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