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Israel sells $2 bln of 10-year green bonds at 95 bps over U.S. Treasuries

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JERUSALEM — Israel sold $2 billion of 10-year “green” bonds in an international bond offering, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

The bonds, it said, were sold at 95 basis points over the benchmark U.S. government bond yield and received $12 billion of demand from some 200 investors in 35 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and South Korea.

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Barclays, BNP Paribas, BofA Securities, and Citi underwrote the offering.

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Israel, the ministry said, became the 24th country that has sold “green” bonds, typically sold to finance ecologically friendly projects. The ministry noted this highlighted Israel’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“The green bond issuance supports the government’s debt management strategy, and in particular the diversification of funding sources and the expansion of the investor base,” said Gil Cohen, senior deputy to the Accountant General, noting the issue took place despite uncertainty in capital markets.

“The results of the issuance indicates confidence in the Israeli economy on the part of major global investors,” Cohen added.

Israel previously tapped global markets in 2020, prior to the coronavirus pandemic when the country raised $3 billion in 10- and 30-year bonds at 200 basis points over Treasuries. In 2020 it also sold $1 billion of 100-year bonds, or “century bonds”, in international markets as part of a record $5 billion fund-raising to help cope with the health crisis. (Reporting by Emily Rose and Steven Scheer; Editing by David Gregorio)

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