$1.75bn Toyota bond: a new horizon for green bonds?

Climate Bonds: “‘Wow! Toyota will this week issue a huge $1.75bn, investment grade, multi-tranche green bond, backed bond by electric+hybrid auto loans. It was going to be only $750m but demand was very strong. A new horizon opens?”
“Toyota will close mid-next week on what will be the world’s first green bond backed by auto loans – electric vehicle and hybrid car loans to be specific. And what a kickstart for that market, at $1.75 billion.
According to a report in International Financing Review (IFR), the bond will be in multiple tranches, each at a different ratings level: A2 tranche, A3 and A4 (Moody’s ratings).
First thing to know: they told the media a week ago it would be a US$774.675 million bond. Rumour has it that initial investor interest was up to three times that. On Tuesday IFR was reporting that the bond would be $1.25 billion; by yesterday someone had told Bloomberg that it would be $1.75 billion. That’s looking like a very successful bond.
….Most “labelled” green bonds (see our explanation of this in our review of green bonds in 2013) have been “asset-linked” corporate green bonds, where the investor has no exposure to the underlying asset.
This is different; the different tranches of the bond are apparently fully backed by the cash flows of the auto loan portfolio – which is great for Toyota because they get they original lending capital back and can plough it into a new pile of loans, which all helps to sell more low-carbon cars).
Asset-backed securities are still relatively new to the “labelled” green bonds theme: Hannon Armstrong kicked this off with a $100 million bond in December backed by energy efficiency and renewable energy cash flows. (Mind you do there are a few asset-backed renewable energy bonds around that we include in our broader Bonds and Climate reporting, such as MidAmerican’s Topaz, last year’s groundbreaking rooftop solar lease securitization from SolarCity as green, and 2010′s Italian Andromeda bond).
The size of Toyota’s bond signals the start of a major new stage in the green theme. We think it’s safe to expect more.
Two reasons why this is important:
1  It establishes transport as green for the purposes of bonds issuance.
….2  Asset-backed issuance is incredibly important to getting increased capital into the green investment pipeline.
Being able to issue asset-backed bonds allows banks and companies to sell green loans and assets to the huge pool of investors looking for low-risk bonds and quickly recycle the capital they raise into new investments.
….This is a big moment for the green bonds and climate bonds market.”