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Coima has bought a portfolio of Rome office buildings, with the intention to boost their sustainability.

The Italian investment manager has acquired a fund which owns three government-occupied buildings: Palazzo Verospi and Galleria Sciarra (pictured above), both in the Via Del Corso area and Palazzo Monte in the Campo de' Fiori area. The 484,375 sq ft portfolio has a total value of more than €200 million ($215 million), Coima said.

It will implement an asset management strategy aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the buildings, reducing their carbon footprint, and securing BREEAM certifications.

Coima is also seeking to convert the fund to Article 8 status under the European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations (SFDR), designating it as a fund to promote positive social and environmental outcomes.

The acquisition was made through COIMA’s Core Fund I and Core Fund II, which are backed by Italian institutional investors and focus on the acquisition and management of income-producing properties in major Italian cities.

The transaction was supported by the issuance of a green loan from pool of banking institutions consisting of Credit Agricole, BPER and ING.

Gabriele Bonfiglioli, COIMA's chief investment officer, said: “COIMA is honoured to take on the management of these important and historic buildings in the heart of Rome, with the aim of improving their sustainability performance and ensuring they remain fit for the future. Rome is a strategically important market for COIMA and a city with great potential for urban redevelopment projects focusing on driving positive social and environmental impact.”

Clarion Housing Group has announced a new sustainable finance framework.

The UK housing association said the new framework aligns with the International Capital Markets Association principles on green, social and sustainable bonds, and the Loan Markets Association green and social loan principles.

Under the framework, Clarion will use proceeds raised from financing to invest in environmentally and/or socially impactful project. It is also set to publish a climate transition plan this year.

Earlier this month, Clarion agreed a new £150 million sustainability-linked facility with ABN AMRO Bank. It said the loan had a series of KPIs linked to its sustainability strategy and climate transition plan. Interest rate savings incurred by meeting KPIs will be used to support its charitable foundation.

Rutilio Merien, ABN AMRO’s head of UK coverage real estate, said: “The UK social housing sector faces challenges that go to the heart of society in terms of availability, quality and safety as well as reducing carbon footprint. ABN AMRO is proud to be able to play an active role in supporting Clarion and the sector.”

Clarion is the UK’s largest housing association, with 125,000 homes and an in-house development business, Latimer. New projects include a low-rise ‘garden community’ in Ealing, London (pictured above).

OUE Real Estate Investment Trust has arranged a new S$600 million ($441 million) sustainability-linked loan (SLL).

The proceeds from the new unsecured facility will be used for the Singapore REIT’s early refinancing of S$540 million existing secured borrowings. OCBC was the sole mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, as well as the sustainability coordinator for the transaction.

This facility is OUE REIT’s first SLL tied to new sustainability performance targets announced earlier this year. The previous goal, which was based on energy intensity, was replaced with a more ambitious aim of achieving a 40% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions for its commercial properties from 2023 levels.

Société de la Tour Eiffel has secured a new responsible credit line, with terms linked to ESG criteria.

The French listed real estate company has arranged €90 million ($96 million) 7-year loan (5 years with two one-year extensions), provided by Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Paris et d'Ile-de-France.

The new facility replaces an existing loan which is reaching maturity. Its terms are linked to the achievement of objectives, including improved energy efficiency, the certification of new projects, and ESG training for employees.

“Signed amid a challenging environment for our industry, this deal highlights the strength of our relations with our banking partners and their commitment to supporting us as we deploy our roadmap. This first sustainability linked loan will also align our financial policy with our ESG pledges, a historical pillar in the company's strategy” said CEO Christel Zordan.

Société de la Tour Eiffel owns a €1.8 billion ($1.9 billion) portfolio of French commercial real estate assets, including Plein’R in Paris, pictured above.

Aviva Investors has made three new appointments to the responsible investment team within its real assets unit.

The most senior hire is Phillipa Grant, (pictured above) who joins as director of sustainable investments. She joins from global advisory business AESG, where she was partner and global director of sustainability. 

A chartered engineer, Grant will be responsible for providing advice to support strategy development and investment decisions across Aviva Investors’ real assets sustainable fund range, alongside delivery and reporting within portfolios.

The team also welcomes Elizabeth Ortiz, who joins from KPMG as an associate working across private market classes, and Jeremy Ho, who will be responsible for delivering sustainability research and due diligence for Aviva Investors’ private lending business.

All three report too Edward Dixon, head of responsible investment, real assets, who said: “We are really pleased to extend the responsible investment capabilities of our Real Assets function through the appointment of Phillipa, Elizabeth and Jeremy. 

“Our recent Real Assets Study showed that 57% of institutional investors have a commitment to reaching net zero, so it is vitally important we have the resources and expertise to guide our clients and show how real assets allocations can align portfolios with those objectives.”

CapitaLand Investment (CLI) has issued its inaugural sustainability-linked panda bond, raising RMB1 billion ($140 million).

 This is the first sustainability-linked panda bond (a RMB-denominated bond launched by a non-Chinese issuer) from a Singaporean company.  The AAA-rated bond has a three-year tenor and a fixed coupon rate of 3.5% per annum.

CLI said the new bond “has enabled the company to access lower-cost RMB capital and further expand its domestic funding channels and investor base, in line with its China-for-China strategy”.  The panda bond is being issued as part of its RMB2 billion Debt Issuance Programme and net proceeds will be used to refinance existing borrowings. 

The sustainability-linked panda bond is tied to CLI’s target of lowering its energy consumption intensity by at least 6% at its properties in China.  The reduction in energy consumption intensity will contribute to CLI’s efforts in meeting the targets set out in its 2030 Sustainability Master Plan, which include achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for scope 1 and scope 2 by 2050 and reducing scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 46% by 2030.

Mr Puah Tze Shyang, CEO of CLI (China), said: “This issuance enables CLI to diversify our capital sources and increase our financial flexibility.  The panda bond also integrates our financing efforts with CLI’s sustainability performance, demonstrating our focus on responsible growth.  This latest initiative to tap the sizeable domestic capital market in China helps mitigate foreign exchange fluctuations and is part of our ongoing prudent capital management.”

ESR has closed a ¥JPY 22 billion ($146m) cross-border syndicated Sustainability-Linked Loan (SLL).

The loan is the first of its kind for the Hong Kong-listed real estate investment manager and brings its total SLL financing to approximately $4.4 billion. It has a tiered incentive mechanism where ESR will be entitled to an interest reduction when sustainability targets are achieved.  

The proceeds will be used for refinancing of existing borrowings, investments, working capital and general corporate purposes. The loan consists of five and seven year tranches and it is a unsecured, committed facility.

Mizuho Bank acted as sole mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, as well as sole sustainability coordinator.

Jeff Shen and Stuart Gibson, co-founders and co-CEOs of ESR said: “ESR is committed to integrating sustainability into our business. Our latest SLL underpins our ESG efforts, marking yet another step towards our sustainability and financial goals in tandem. 

“ESR remains focused on striving to not only enhance the performance of our assets and operations, but also lead and set the standard for sustainable development of our industry.”

Nuveen Real Estate will provide a €35 million ($38 million) senior secured loan for the acquisition and construction of One Helix, a cutting-edge life science asset situated in Amsterdam.

One Helix will be developed by a joint venture between Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital, with the entire 5,155 sq m facility pre-let to Neogene, a biotechnology company specializing in T cell receptor therapies for cancers. Neogene is a subsidiary of AstraZeneca.

The loan is part of Nuveen's pan-European debt strategy, which prioritizes investments in environmentally conscious projects. This marks the strategy's second investment, following a €54 million agreement to finance logistics assets in Berlin for Valor.

One Helix is slated to achieve BREEAM "Outstanding" and will support carbon-negative operations through geothermal heating and cooling systems and rooftop solar panels.

General Atlantic has agreed to acquire sustainable infrastructure and real estate manager Actis.

The New York-based growth investor’s acquisition will create a firm with $96 billion of assets under management, $12.5 billion contributed by Actis. The UK-based firm will become the sustainable infrastructure arm within General Atlantic’s global investment platform.

Actis has 140 staff across 17 offices around the world. Its 24-strong real estate team is led by Hong Kong-based Brian Chinappi. Investments include data centres in Korea, industrial property in Vietnam and affordable housing in India.

Real estate investors in Asia Pacific are looking for ESG retrofit projects, to develop new green buildings and to create on-site renewable energy, a CBRE survey found.

The broker’s APAC 2024 Investor Intentions Survey found just over 60% of investors, the bulk of which are private equity funds, plan to retrofit existing assets to make them ESG compliant. 

More than half the respondents intend to develop or buy green buildings this year and 40% said they plan to enable on-site energy generation. 

The survey also found investors to be slightly more willing to pay a ‘green premium’ with only 27% refusing to pay extra for a more sustainable asset, down from 30% in 2023. More than 40% said they were prepared to pay a premium of up to 5%, while a quarter would pay 6-10%.