Saudi Arabia's PIF raises $5.5bn from sale of second green bond in five months

Sovereign wealth fund last year issued debut $3bn green bond to finance renewables, energy efficiency and clean transport

Solar panels at Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz City of Sciences and Technology, in Riyadh. The kingdom plans to generate 50 per cent of its power from renewables by 2030. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has raised $5.5 billion through the sale of a green bond as the kingdom's sovereign wealth continues to secure funding to finance or refinance its green investments.

The green bond — PIF’s second in the five months — was more than six times oversubscribed, with the order book exceeding $33 billion, PIF said in a statement on Friday.

This deal, which garnered interest from institutional investors globally, including Asia, was sold in three tranches of $1.75 billion seven-year, $2 billion 12-year and $1.75 billion 30-year maturities.

The sale “underlines the role that PIF is playing in supporting Saudi Arabia’s green agenda, as well as diversifying the local economy and unlocking new and sustainable sectors”, said Fahad Al Saif, head of the global capital finance division at PIF.

“Strong demand from international institutional investors for this second issuance is a testament to the ongoing success of PIF’s capital raising strategy, its credit profile and financial strength.”

The deal follows PIF’s $3 billion debut green bond issuance in October, which the fund said at the time will be used to finance or refinance its investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings and clean transport.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, is developing several new renewable energy projects as it aims to boost its clean energy capacity and become carbon neutral by 2060.

In September, the kingdom launched five new renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 3.3 gigawatts.

The PIF is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, with about $620 billion in assets under management.

It is diversifying its investment portfolio as it seeks to grow its asset base to more than $1 trillion by 2025.

The sovereign wealth fund is at the centre of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative to diversify the country’s economy and reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons.

The PIF is also the biggest shareholder in Riyadh utility developer Acwa Power, which is developing several renewable energy projects around the globe.

PIF’s latest green financing deal issuance reflects the sovereign fund’s role as not only the driver of economic transformation in the country but also as “one of the largest and most impactful investment funds in the world”, PIF said on Friday.

It also reflects PIF’s commitment to its green finance framework, which is fully compliant with international standards.

As with its inaugural bond issuance, PIF will allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds of the issuance to finance eligible green projects in accordance with its green finance framework, it added.

Updated: February 10, 2023, 2:29 PM