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The Basque Government will present the Basque Country Sustainability Bond to investors in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

2024 February 3

This Monday the Basque government will begin a round of meetings with investors in the United Kingdom, France and Germany to present the eighth issue of the Basque Country Sustainability Bond, which this year plans to bring €600 million to the market. The Minister for Economy and Finance, Pedro Azpiazu, will front the delegation, which is to visit London and Paris, while the second work group will focus on Frankfurt and Munich, on the 5 and 6 February. With this new issue, the Basque Country will reach €5 billion issued in sustainable debt since 2018.

A financial strategy that has been possible because "the Basque Country has an excellent rating awarded by the main rating agencies, which means that going to the market is a success, which implies recognition of the soundness of the Basque economy and the strength of our finances", Azpiazu points out. Proof of this is that each issue has been in great demand by investors. The last issue in 2023 (700 million euros)was seven times oversubscribed.

The interest of the European financial market in these issues is reflected in the average placement per country, with a very varied representation Neighbouring countries, such as France (€122m) and Germany (€116m), have followed these placements, as have other continental countries such as the UK, Austria, Italy and Luxembourg.

A total of 69% has been placed with international investors, with Germany as the leading investor country, followed by France, Holland, Austria and Great Britain, 16% with state investors and 15% with investors from the Basque Country. “This is the best proof of the international recognition that each issue of Basque public debt in sustainable bonds obtains. The Basque Government thus continues with its firm commitment to play an important role in the development of the sustainable bond market, and to promote responsible and efficient financing to address the environmental, economic and social challenges of the Basque Country", Azpiazu emphasises.

The fact that these issues have the seal of sustainability “also enables investors who only invest in sustainability to look at our bonds”, highlights the Minister for Economy and Finance, recognising that while label “sustainable” does not guarantee success, “it does increase interest and easier to execute in difficult market times".

Azpiazu stresses the need for a sustainable financing framework, which "in our case is aligned with the Government's Agenda 2030". In fact, the programmes to be financed are selected by the Sustainable Bonds Committee “and their level of alignment with the SDGs is taken into accounts”, he pointed out.

Eligible projects or categories which respond to the use made by the Basque Government of these funds and which is none other than the investment in affordable housing and access to essential services such as education and health, as well as a commitment to socio-economic progress, job creation, renewable energy, clean transport, among other sustainable destinations.

In this regard, in November last year, the Basque Government launched the "Euskadi ESG" Sustainability Rating for SMEs project, which will enable the sustainability of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Basque Country to be measured, assessed and accredited. An initiative which aims to take the first steps for the Basque Government to have a sustainability rating in line with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

For these meetings in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, Azpiazu will be accompanied by the Deputy Regional Minister of Economy and European Funds, Iñaki Barredo; the Director of Financial Policy, Arantza Larrauri; and the Head of Cabinet and Coordination, Yurdana Burgoa. The group working on the German market is made up of the Deputy Minister of Finance and Budgets, Hernando Lacalle, and the Director of Economics and Planning, Alberto Ansuategi.

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