MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer by market capitalization, is selling green bonds for the first time ever as it plans to issue $750 million of debt, adding to a surge in issuance of the securities from the financial sector.
The New York-based company is selling debt to fund environment-friendly projects through its Metropolitan Life Global Funding I entity, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The offering may yield 0.7 percentage point above Treasuries, after initial discussions of around 0.9 percentage point, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.
The funds raised will be used to purchase a funding agreement from Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., which intends to put proceeds from that sale toward green initiatives such as affordable housing, infrastructure, municipal and impact investments, according to Metlife’s sustainable financing framework.
Financials globally have raised about $26 billion to fund environmentally-friendly projects in 2020, making the sector the biggest issuer of green bonds after sovereigns, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The sector borrowed a record $75.9 billion last year.
The company’s institutional investment management business, MetLife Investment Management LLC, became a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment last year, joining a group holding about $30 trillion of assets committed to incorporating environmental, social and governance principles in their investments.
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