Fixed Income Pulse: London Stock Exchange supporting issuers of social and sustainability bonds that mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Admission fees for social and sustainability bonds that aim to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 with relevant use-of-proceeds waived for 3 months.
  • Applies to bonds that are admitted to London Stock Exchange, and meet the eligibility criteria for the Sustainable Bond Market’s social or sustainability segments

During this period of exceptional market volatility and global uncertainty due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, London Stock Exchange takes its responsibility to ensure the orderly functioning of markets and continuity of services for its customers and other stakeholders very seriously. We have in place robust business continuity arrangements, which are regularly tested, to ensure the safe and orderly functioning of our business.

We strongly believe that social and sustainability bonds with use of proceeds aligned to funding essential services such as healthcare, water and sanitation, supporting employment, or with a link to the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals can have a role to play in directing capital to initiatives that will help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Such instruments could help issuers in both developed and developing countries unlock funding for a wide range of critical projects in both the short and long term. 

London Stock Exchange’s Sustainable Bond Market acts as a platform for sustainable finance instruments and comprises dedicated segments for social and sustainability bonds. We remain committed to supporting our clients and the development of the social and sustainability bond markets during this unprecedented period.

London Stock Exchange will be admitting social and sustainability bonds with use of proceeds aligned towards mitigating the impact of COVID-19 with no admission fees for an initial period of three months commencing 3 April 2020.

Eligibility criteria 

  • Applies to bonds admitted to one of London Stock Exchange’s markets
  • Applies to social or sustainability bonds only that meet the eligibility criteria for the Sustainable Bond Market, and where use of proceeds are aligned towards addressing or mitigating social issues wholly or partially emanating from COVID-19 through projects related to access to essential services, healthcare, employment, water and sanitation or the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals under the issuer’s publicly available and provided framework
  • Issuers and advisors would need to request for the application of this fee waiver on the relevant Sustainable Bond Market Application and Declaration form (sent to admissions@lseg.com and bonds@lseg.com)
  • End date: Thursday, 2 July 2020 (3 months)

Supranational issuers such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and African Development Bank have issued social or sustainability bonds in London under their respective frameworks. To support first time social and sustainability bond issuers, London Stock Exchange will also consider applications aligned to ICMA’s Social Bond Principles, Sustainability Bond Guidelines or other global principles within the Sustainable Bond Market’s eligibility criteria without an external review on a case-by-case basis.

For further information on the Sustainable Bond Market, refer to the dedicated factsheet and eligibility criteria here. Additional guidance on ICMA’s Social Bond Principles and their relevance in addressing COVID-19 crisis can be found here, and high level mapping to the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here.

You may also contact one of the team at bonds@lseg.com or call us on +44 (0)20 7797 3921. 

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