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Visa Debuts Consumer Finance Sector’s Green Dollar Bonds

(Bloomberg) — Visa Inc., the world’s largest payments network, is breaking ground by tapping the bond market to fund environmentally friendly projects.


The company is selling debt in as many as three parts, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The shortest portion of the bond offering is a seven-year green note that may yield 0.6 percentage points above Treasuries, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. The sale marks the first from the consumer finance sector, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


The San Francisco-based firm plans to use the proceeds from the green tranche to finance projects that meet eligible categories, including green buildings, renewable energy, sustainable water and wastewater management and projects that support sustainable living behaviors, according to Sustainalytics’ second-party opinion.


Companies and governments have raised about $113 billion in the green bond market this year, a slight decline from $118 billion in the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, sales of bonds to address social issues jumped a record 376% in the first half of the year as issuers ramped up borrowing to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.


Google parent Alphabet Inc. sold $5.75 billion of sustainability notes at record-low rates last week, the largest-ever from a corporation. Investors and Wall Street underwriters, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. expect more Silicon Valley companies to follow Alphabet by issuing environmental, social and governance-linked debt.


“We expect investor focus on material ESG factors to continue to grow rapidly as interest in social factors is on the rise,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote in a note Monday.


Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank AG are managing the bond sale, the person said.


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