KBC Group: becomes the first Belgian financial institution to issue a social bond







Today, KBC Group has become the first financial institution in Belgium to issue a social bond. This first issue was reserved for institutional and professional investors and was to be used to finance projects in the hospital sector.

KBC Group issued a social bond of 750 million euros over 8 years with a coupon of 3% (yield 3.056%). The margin was set at 125 basis points above the benchmark.

Johan Thijs, CEO of KBC Group, tells us: “Issuing this social bond fits perfectly with our approach to sustainability. The decision to choose a portfolio of hospitals did not come by chance or coincidence. Health is at the heart of our bancassurance activities. The sector is facing a huge transition, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is with this in mind that we wish to support the sector in meeting these challenges. We will also use this first issuance to fund projects that generate social benefits in support of our mission and vision. The KBC Social Bond Framework will also enable us in the future to market these issues and increase our impact on society. This first social link underlines our commitment to increasing our positive social impact through our core business as an integrated bancassurance and asset management group.

A social bond is a bond whose proceeds are used to fund projects that have a social benefit.​ To ensure transparency, social bond issuers regularly publish reports explaining how proceeds are allocated (e.g. amounts allocated and where) and how asset-related output/impact is measured (e.g. number of hospital beds created, facilities built, etc.).

Framework of the social link

Filip Ferrante, Managing Director of KBC Group Corporate Sustainability: ‘KBC has an impressive sustainability track record. The issuance of this social bond, which falls under the KBC Social Bond Framework (“Framework”), allows us to underline the fact that sustainability is not only about the environment and the climate. In the coming years, KBC will prioritize the financing of the project categories “access to essential services” (such as education, health, sport and culture), “affordable housing” and “job creation”. , including the potential impact of SME financing . The framework enables KBC to issue social bonds and complies with the ICMA Social Bond Principles, which are non-binding guidelines that promote transparency and integrity in the development of social bonds.

As a second opinion provider, Sustainalytics has confirmed that the Frame complies with ICMA principles and best market practice.

Disclaimer

KBC Group NV published this content on August 18, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Audienceunedited and unmodified, on Aug 18, 2022 3:43:13 PM UTC.

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