Nordea helps public sector borrowers finance COVID-19 response

Public sector borrowers are issuing bonds to finance the emergency and stimulus response to the coronavirus outbreak, and Nordea is on the front line.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the global capital markets in various ways, but at least one segment will see activity surge – the public sector.

Public sector borrowers have already returned en masse to the primary bond market to start the financing of various emergency and stimulus packages launched in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The action among public sector borrowers will come across the SSA (sovereigns, supranationals & agencies) sector, with most borrowers having already announced increased funding budgets.

Kamal Grossard-Amin

Kamal Grossard-Amin, head of SSA Debt Capital Markets origination at Nordea

In addition to the increased support from governments, the supranational and agency borrowers, such as the European Investment Bank, World Bank, German development bank KfW as well as Nordic issuers, will constitute an important channel for fighting the impact of the pandemic.

“Nordic public sector finances have gone into this pandemic in very strong shape, and the Nordic SSA sector is well positioned for the increased funding needs via solid underlying fundamentals and a wide investor base,” says Kamal Grossard-Amin, who is in charge of the SSA Debt Capital Markets origination at Nordea.

“As in the previous financial crisis, the SSA sector will also step up now with a fast response to secure the funding needed to support businesses and local communities in surmounting the difficulties ahead,” he adds.

A commitment to our clients and society

The SSA issuers are entering the market with transactions highlighting the mobilisation of funds to alleviate socioeconomic and health risks posed by the current global crisis. This would include, for instance, public healthcare efforts, supporting SME businesses and social security expenditures. Yesterday, Nordea acted as joint lead manager in a SEK 3bn Sustainability Awareness Bond (SAB) by the European Investment Bank where the use of proceeds has been extended to include financing directly related to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (See EIB’s press release.)

“With 98% of the COVID-19 related EIB bond sold into the Nordic region, it highlights the strong commitment that also Nordic investors have to putting money to work where it really counts in these times,” says Grossard-Amin.

As the biggest bank in the Nordics, Nordea has a special responsibility to our clients and societies during these tough times.

“Nordea is the largest arranger of SSA/public sector bonds in the Nordics. In times like these, it is important that we can help our clients finance their operations that ensure a functioning society,” says Antti Saha, Head of DCM at Nordea.

In addition to helping public sector borrowers finance the COVID-19 response, Nordea is also offering instalment-free periods to personal and business customers in need of help because of the outbreak, as well as other credit facilities.

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