Clarion Housing Group has raised £300m in a bond issue, at the lowest interest rate for a primary bond issuance by a housing association.
The 12 year bond was priced at a coupon of 1.25 per cent. The bond was significantly oversubscribed, with around £850 million in orders. Investors included central banks, ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) and ethical investment funds.
This successful issue follows a pioneering £350 million Clarion bond in January and underlines the demand to support an organisation delivering strong financial results and committed to ESG principles.
Last month Clarion published its inaugural ESG performance report, detailing environmental, social and governance performance as well as incorporating the metrics from the imminent Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing. The measures range from improving energy efficiency in homes to the comprehensive programme of Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation that supports Clarion residents and communities.
Clarion’s strong annual results were published in July, with a record 2,101 new homes completed – an increase of 69% on the previous year. Turnover and operating surplus also increased on the previous 12 months.
Gareth Francis, Director of Treasury and Corporate Finance commented:
“This very successful bond issue underlines the strength of our funding platform and the attractiveness of Clarion as an investment proposition to a diverse range of investors. We are delighted with the result which will enable the Group to further pursue its mission by delivering much needed energy efficient affordable homes.
I am in no doubt that our clear commitment to ESG principles has further increased interest in Clarion and am hopeful that more peers in the sector will embrace this important agenda.”