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Top recognition for Cyprus ESG bond from Global Capital - "Cyprus stole the show"

London-based international capital market expert Global Capital’s has recognised Cyprus’ first ESG bond issue, a prestigious acknowledgment that has been welcomed by the Ministry of Finance’s Public Debt Management Office.

An eminent source of information on the international capital market, Global Capital included, and applauded, the bond issuance in its recent report on the developments in the international capital markets during 2023 (Review 2023/ Outlook 2024).

In a section entitled, ‘Bond Deals of the Year- Public sector borrowers: Fortune favours the flexible,” Cyprus was awarded with ‘SSA ESG Bond of the Year’ for its €1bn 4.125% April 2033 sustainable bond.

More specifically, the report said, “Few deals seem to capture the imagination as much as one with which a sovereign embarks on its ESG finance journey — and Cyprus stole the show on that front in 2023.”

As noted in the report, “The triple-B rated sovereign made its long-awaited ESG debut in April (2023). It had been a busy few days for sovereign syndications, with Italy and Greece also in the market and Luxembourg and Slovenia pricing sustainability deals. Despite the competition, Cyprus’s 10 year was still a blow-out. The sovereign received its largest ever book since returning to the international bond market in 2014 and managed to price flat to fair value — an outcome that beat expectations.”

“Even more impressive,” Global Capital’s report continued, “was the sovereign’s strategic planning and ESG ambition.”

“Its ESG needs may be limited compared with its larger peers, but Cyprus is committed to maintaining a regular presence with a labelled issuance every two or three years. And it could not have kicked off this journey with a more remarkable inaugural trade,” the report concluded.

The Ministry of Finance said it considers this recognition to be particularly important as it is tangible proof of the level of work done in matters of public debt management, while also an indication of the appreciation that the international capital markets (institutions, banks, investors) have for Cyprus as an issuer.

“The Public Debt Management Office would like to take this opportunity to thank the two banks (HSBC and JP Morgan) that worked as structuring agents for this issue,” the ministry’s announcement said, adding, “Finally, the Ministry of Finance congratulates all public officials in the various Ministries, Departments and Services who have been involved in this effort as without their systematic contribution and professionalism nothing would have been possible.”

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