Denmark’s two biggest pension funds ATP and PFA have invested in the new Climate Awareness Bond (CAB) issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB), saying the move is at least in part to support the bank’s work to push the green agenda.

The bank said it timed the €1bn bond issue was timed to coincide with the European Parliament’s (EP) approval of regulations on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, the EU Sustainability Taxonomy.

In announcing the bond issue, the EIB also revealed its decision to extend the eligibility of its CAB to two additional lending activities – to research, development and deployment of innovative low carbon technologies, and to electric rail infrastructure and rolling stock, and electric buses.

Lars Dreier Kristensen, senior portfolio manager at ATP, said that as a long-term sustainable investor, the pension fund promoted accountability and comparability in green finance.

As part of this, he said that back in April 2019, the fund had put in a strong order for EIB bonds when the bank began CAB-documentation that was tuned to the EU’s taxonomy regulation.

“With today’s extension of CAB-eligibilities, EIB is again spearheading best practice. Therefore our renewed support in the primary market,” Dreier Kristensen said.

PFA said it invested DKK360m (€48m) in the EIB issue, while Dreier Kristensen told IPE that ATP – which now invests DKK26bn in green bonds overall – had made “a substantial investment” in the new bonds, without giving a figure.

Christian Storm Schubart, senior portfolio manager ESG and Patrick Gorm Nielsen, portfolio manager at PFA Asset Management, said: “We are very supportive of the work that EIB is doing to push the green agenda as we are continuously looking for good investment opportunities where we can contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy.”

AFP signs deal with eVestment, extending US data firm’s Nordic business gains

Norwegian private sector pension fund AFP has picked US data firm eVestment to provide services to help it monitor external managers and handle its data collection and review processes more efficiently, according to the US firm.

This is the second Nordic pensions contract win flagged up by this month, following the gain from Sweden’s AP1 in early June.

Frode Veiby, senior portfolio manager at the pension fund – which currently manages around $4.2bn (€3.7bn), according to eVestment – said  AFP was “very excited” to use the eVestment platform.

He said the provider had enough breadth and depth in its coverage, as well as the proprietary data and tools to make sure AFP could identify appropriate strategies to manage the fund.

“Finding and monitoring institutional asset managers locally and around the world is important to our success in serving our pensioners,” he said.

Jean-Philippe Quittot, the US firm’s managing director for EMEA, said pension funds increasingly needed to find managers locally, regionally and around the world that could meet their return, risk and asset mix expectations, and provide transparency in asset management selection and monitoring to their stakeholders.

The US firm has said it is currently making particular efforts to increase sales in the Nordic region.

PFA extends IT contract with NNIT as digitalisation grows

In other news on PFA, the fund has signed a new five-year deal with Copenhagen-based firm NNIT for IT infrastructure, operations and consultancy, according to the tech company.

Morten Bruun Steiner, director of data and IT at the DKK688bn (€92.3bn) pension fund, said: “The new agreement creates a good foundation for our desire for increased standardisation of our infrastructure and thus supports our journey towards becoming even more digital and efficient in the way we work with customer experiences.”

The new contract replaces the existing deal due to expire at the end of 2023, said NNIT which originally started providing services to PFA in 2009.

The IT firm said the contract was estimated to be worth “a medium triple-digit million amount” in Danish kroner.

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