Dutch pension funds have a limited stake in locally issued corporate green bonds, according to IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro.
Drawing on statistics from regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), it found that pension funds had provided €800m of the total €20.7bn invested in green bonds issued by local banks, energy firms and Netherlands-based financial holdings of foreign energy companies.
Dutch banks and insurers owned €600m of Dutch green bonds, and the remaining €19.4bn was purchased by foreign investors.
DNB only included assets that were subject to the green bond principles set by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), a not-for-profit initiative from the financial sector. Currently, 35 bonds issued by 12 Dutch companies meet these criteria.
The €414bn civil service scheme ABP said it had invested a total of €751m in 24 local green bonds, whereas it had invested in 102 green bonds in total with a combined value of almost €3.5bn.
PGGM, the €215bn asset manager for the large healthcare scheme PFZW, said its combined holdings of green bonds were worth €1.6bn, of which just €42m was invested in Dutch green bonds.
The asset manager – which has sold green bonds issued by ING, ABN Amro and energy firm Alliander – said there was no specific reason for its relatively small stake in local green corporate bonds.
“We seek proper investments worldwide, which could also involve investments in the Netherlands,” a spokesman for PGGM said.
Dutch pension funds are expected to increase their investments in local green bonds.
Recently, Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra announced that the Dutch state would start issuing green bonds meeting the CBI principles, estimating the annual potential at between €3.5bn and €5bn.
ABP, PGGM and MN – the €130bn asset manager for the large metal industry schemes PME and PMT – all backed a recent green bond issued by Schiphol Group, the owner of Amsterdam’s main airport. Schiphol raised €500m from the issuance and has said needed to raise €1.2bn to meet its sustainability plans by 2023.
MN said that it would have liked to investment more than the €9m it had been granted as part of Schiphol Group’s issue. ABP and PGGM bought €15m and €10m, respectively, of Schiphol Group’s green bonds.