ICO: a benchmark issuer in the European sustainable bonds market
To date, it has launched fifteen sustainable bond issues (10 social and 5 green) for an amount of 7,552 million euros to finance projects that drive sustainable growth.
Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) is the Spanish national promotional bank attached to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Companies. It supports innovative and sustainable business projects in Spain and other markets by providing loans and other forms of financing, thereby contributing to sustainable growth.
ICO’s sustainable bond issues are part of its 2022-2027 Strategy to contribute to the growth of the sustainable bond market and ensure that funds are channelled to finance projects linked to social and environmental sustainability.
ICO’s role in the sustainable bond market
ICO has already launched 15 sustainable issues (10 social and 5 green), with a total amount issued of 7,550 million euros. This has made ICO one of the benchmark issuers in its category in the international sustainable bond market.
The Institute channels the funds it raises with these issues towards the Spanish business fabric through its direct financing programs, ICO Second-floor Facilities, and funds managed by AXIS, its venture capital subsidiary.
ICO routinely reports, in line with best market practice, on the impact generated by the funds used to finance projects that qualify for ICO’s Social Bond Issuance Framework or the Green Bond Issuance Framework.
In line with its commitment to transparency and best practice, ICO distributes a report to the investment community and publishes a breakdown and impact assessment on its website.
Last February, ICO launched its fifth green bond, which, together with the previous four, totals 2.5 billion euros to finance activities, investments and projects of Spanish companies that contribute to the ecological transition, in line with the objectives of the Spanish government's National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
This fifth green issue of 500 million euros was very well received by the markets, attracting more than 4.5 billion euros of demand. 81% of the operation was placed with international accounts, reflecting investor confidence in ICO's role as a sustainable bond issuer.
With the first four operations, the impact reports of which have already been published and are available on our website, ICO has so far supported 37 renewable energy and clean transport projects by Spanish companies, which will prevent the emission of almost 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
ICO launched its activity in the sustainable bond market in 2015 with its inaugural 1 billion euro social bond issue, the first international issue bearing the 'social' name.
To date, ICO has already launched ten social bond issues worth 5,050 million euros. Social bonds promote social and territorial cohesion and have a positive impact on employment.
Of the 10 social bonds issued, ICO has already published the impact reports of the first 8 bonds, available at the following link. With the social bonds reported to date, ICO has financed more than 69,000 projects by the self-employed, SMEs and companies, which have contributed to generating or maintaining more than 444,000 jobs.
In its role as one of the benchmark issuers in the European sustainable bond market, ICO holds the annual ICO Sustainable Bond Forum which has reached its seventh edition this year. This Forum aims to analyse the current state of the sustainable bond market, as well as the evolution, new opportunities and challenges facing the sector. This event held in Madrid brings together the main national and international players in sustainable finance: issuers, investors, agencies, banks and other industry players.