Ontario has successfully launched its inaugural green bond program, which was almost five times oversubscribed.
The provincial government reports that it received almost $2.4 billion in orders for its $500 million green bond offering, reflecting demand from green investors in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. The offering was the first issue of green bonds from a government in Canada.
The green bond program is to be used to finance transit and other environmentally-friendly infrastructure projects across the province. The first issue to help fund the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which is currently under construction and is slated for completion in 2020.
“This first issue secures Ontario’s presence in the green bond market and brings visibility to the province by encouraging investments in sustainable projects and attracting new investors,” the government says, adding that the green bond program is part of its overall economic plan for the province. Its 2014 budget pledged more than $130 billion in infrastructure investment over the next 10 years.
“These attractive new bonds prove a solid appetite exists among international investors who are looking to invest in a secure and socially responsible manner,” said Charles Sousa, minister of finance for Ontario.
“This green bond issue demonstrates our government’s commitment to building modern infrastructure, supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate, spurring economic growth and creating new jobs for a stronger Ontario. Ontario’s green bond program will help us invest in transit and other sustainable infrastructure projects across the province, which will help create new opportunities for all Ontarians,” he added.