Success of the first Covid-19 Covered Bond issue in support of French public hospitals


SFIL, through its Covered Bonds issuer CAFFIL, successfully launched a social bond issue of one billion euros with a five-year maturity. Supported by Societe Generale, the proceeds of this first Covid-19 related bond will be used to finance public hospitals, whose additional costs linked to the current health crisis are constantly increasing.

Both a bank and an agency owned by "Caisse des Dépôts", SFIL has 2 missions: lending to local authorities in France and refinancing export loans guaranteed by the French State. As a leader in lending to local authorities with a 30% market share, SFIL is a particularly active lender in the hospital sector and currently finances more than 1,000 public hospitals in France.

In the context of Covid-19, SFIL’s mission in financing local authorities is therefore particularly critical for the hospital sector. The proceeds of this five-year one billion euros social issue will be used to support the sector in the face of the current crisis, by financing or refinancing loans to French public hospitals.
It is the first Covid-19 Covered Bond issued by a European financial institution and dedicated to raising funds in response to the health and economic crisis. This operation was very successful among investors, with an order book of 4.5 billion euros and a strong participation of investors specializing in ESG issues. It is the most important order book for a covered bond in 2020 and the highest oversubscription rate of all SFIL’s issues since 2013.

Societe Generale is proud to have supported SFIL in this operation by acting as Joint Bookrunner. This is not the bank’s first attempt since it had already been mandated as Structuring Advisor in the implementation of the SFIL social covered bond program in 2019. Societe Generale is also the only bank to have been mandated on the two social bond issues of 2019 and 2020 but also on the inaugural green bonds issue carried out last year.

"These multiple mandates underline our leading position in the DCM market for Financial Institutions, our proximity to a major client and its trust when it comes to ESG thematic issues."Julien GAMEL, Head of Debt Capital Markets for Financial Institutions in France and BeLux within Societe Generale.