CaixaBank participates in the financing of six wind farms in Poland by EDP Renewables

Barcelona – WEBWIRE

• Transaction is CaixaBank’s largest sustainable project finance operation in Poland to date.

• Reinforces the bank’s commitment to working closely with Polish businesses and support the country’s energy transition objectives through increased use of renewable energy.

CaixaBank has participated in the underwriting of a green loan facility for the long term financing of six wind farms by EDP Renewables, the world’s fourth largest renewable energy producer. The agreeement covers the financing of the development, construction and operation of six wind farms with an aggregate capacity of 149.4 MW. The commercial tranche of 655 million zlotys (PLN), equivalent to €144 million, is supported by the European Investment Bank, CaixaBank and Santander, with a partial guarantee by EKF (Denmark’s Export Credit Agency).

The six wind farms are geographically dispersed across Poland, throughout the south-eastern, north-western and northern part of the country. More precisely, the Kozlowo and Krasin wind farms are located in the Warmian-Masurian province, the Lichnowy and Chojnice wind farms are in the Pomerania province, Piatkowo is in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province and the Bogoria wind farm is in the Swietokrzyskie province.

EDP ​​Renewables wind farms will benefit from the renewable energy support scheme based on auctions organized in 2018 and 2019 by the Polish State and they constitute one of the largest wind energy financing operations in the country to date.

CaixaBank in Poland

This green loan is the largest project financing deal for CaixaBank in Poland to date. Through this loan, CaixaBank further reinforces its commitment to both the Polish economy and businesses to help them deliver on the energy transition objectives as the country moves to increase its production of renewable energy, especially at a time of great rises in the price of fossil fuels.

CaixaBank has had a presence in Poland since 2007 when it opened a branch in Warsaw. From there, the company offers corporate and transactional banking services, such as guarantees, bilateral loans, short-term and long-term financing, factoring, confirming, and other services. The branch has both helped CaixaBank become a relevant participant in Poland’s corporate banking landscape.

CaixaBank, committed to sustainable financing 

CaixaBank is among the financial institutions most committed to sustainability given that it has a Plan for Socially Responsible Banking that supports the UN  Sustainable Development Goals.    

Through its initiatives, the Bank supports environmentally friendly initiatives and projects that contribute to preventing and mitigating climate change and encourage the transition to a low-carbon economy and social development.   

In 2021 the bank has mobilised €31.37 billion euros in sustainable financing, an increase of 150% compared to 2020. 

In the area of sustainable loans, in 2021 CaixaBank has issued 105 loans for a total value of €11.59 billion. This figure represents an 131% increase compared to 2020, marking a new record for the bank.

CaixaBank ended 2021 as the sixth bank in sustainable financing in EMEA, according to Refinitiv, and is the highest ranked Spanish bank.

In the area of bonds, in 2021 CaixaBank has participated as a bookrunner in the issuance of 18 ESG bonds, for a total of €16.2 billion, excluding the bank’s own issuances.

The bank has further issued four own green and social bonds to support the UN  Sustainable Development Goals, for a total value of €3.5 billion. These four bonds add to the three issued in 2019 and 2020, making CaixaBank the European bank with the largest volume of own ESG bonds in euros, with a total of seven issuances – four green and three social bonds – for an aggregate value of €6 billion and £500 million.

CaixaBank’s international presence 

CaixaBank maintains an international presence through its International Banking network of representative branches and offices as well as cooperation agreements with international banks. In addition, it owns BPI in Portugal, the country’s fourth largest financial institution by assets. 

CaixaBank’s International Banking business offers corproate and investment banking services to its clients with operations abroad, as well as business banking services to large local corporates. It has a global team of over 150 professionals, 27 international service points and agreements with more than 1,760 correspondent banks.

The CIB/IB (Corporate & Institutional Banking / International Banking) network of CaixaBank is made up of branches in Germany, France, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, all of them, with the exception of Portugal, authorised by both the Spanish and local regulators to enable them to provide comprehensive financial services to meet the needs of businesses operating locally.

The institution also has 18 representative offices on all five continents: Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Singapore, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), New Delhi (India), Cairo (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Johannesburg (South Africa), New York (USA), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Lima (Peru), Sydney (Australia) and Toronto (Canada). It also has two Spanish Desk teams in Austria’s Erste Bank (Vienna) and Mexico’s Inbursa (Mexico City), to serve CaixaBank’s business customers in these markets. 

CaixaBank’s International Banking network is the only AENOR-certified international banking network in Spain.

CaixaBank joins forces with the European Innovation Council to accelerate innovation in the agricultural sector

• The program is a joint initiative of the agricultural sector divisions of CaixaBank, AgroBank, as well as the European Innovation Council (EIC), the flagship innovation program of the European Union.

• More than 5,000 ’start-ups’ funded by the European Innovation Council are called upon to present their proposals in strategic areas for the future of the agricultural sector: precision farming, traceability and vertical agriculture; robotics and process digitization; biotechnology; sustainability, water and energy efficiency and new digital marketing models.

• Selected companies will be able to commercialise their solutions with the support of CaixaBank and its subsidiaries through the network of 1,300 AgroBank’s offices in Spain.

CaixaBank, through AgroBank, the entity’s business line aimed at the agri-food sector, and the European Innovation Council (EIC), the flagship innovation initiative of the European Union, launch a pilot program to select international agrotech companies that develop innovative solutions for the agricultural and livestock sector in Spain.

This pilot program aims to respond to the main challenges of the agricultural sector through collaboration with highly innovative companies (Startups/Scaleups/SMEs) funded by the EIC (more than 5,000 from 37 UE Member States and Associated countries). Those companies will provide solutions to increase the productivity of the agricultural sector, improve its sustainability and reach new markets.

EIC beneficiaries interested in the call can present their candidacy until January 21st, 2022 through the EIC website. 

Call’s Challenges

The pilot initiative, under the title “Innovation Procurement pilot in AgroTech: Looking for technological disruption”, includes six strategic areas: 

  • Precision farming, traceability and vertical agriculture: Solutions to provide an integrated data collection service, management platform and advice in decision-making with the use of innovative technologies, such as blockchain or/and Big Data.
  • Robotics and digitalisation: Solutions that will empower the automation of processes to increase productivity and reduce production costs. 
  • Biotechnology: Innovative Genetic solutions and new products or new uses of natural resources, as well as new techniques to manage biological waste. 
  • Sustainability, biodiversity and circular economy: Solutions to achieve a more sustainable world based on biodiversity and circular economy. 
  • Water and energy efficiency: Better use of natural resources, as well as generation of green energy for self-consumption. 
  • New digital marketing models: Solutions that improve distribution models such as e-commerce and farm-to-fork commerce. 

The finalists in each category will present their projects to the EIC and AgroBank. Selected candidates will receive top-tier specialised coaching and business support from the EIC and access to CaixaBank and AgroBank large expertise and selling channels to commercialise their proposed solutions. 

Collaboration scenario in innovation development

This pilot initiative is part of CaixaBank’s commitment to a scenario of collaboration with start-ups in the development of innovation. This collaboration improves agility and efficiency in innovation, accelerates the process from idea to market for new products or and allows a better identification of talent.

Agriculture sector accounts for 9% of Spanish GDP and its future development is linked to its industrial digital transformation and automation. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a strategic autonomy and digitalisation of the agricultural and livestock sector, both in Spain and in the rest of the European Union.

For start-ups, collaborating with corporates like CaixaBank allows them to scale up faster. This collaboration gives them the opportunity to have a multitude of very valuable resources, such as approaching an important portfolio of clients, access to large distribution channels, improving their brand positioning and gaining visibility.

CaixaBank promotes co-creation initiatives with start-ups to foster shared innovation, for example: Zone2boost and Start4big. The Spanish bank also supports the entrepreneurial ecosystem through initiative like the DayOne Open Innovation Program, within the framework of the EntrepreneurXXI Awards.

About the European Innovation Council

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations. It supports innovation, entrepreneurs, small businesses and world-class scientists with brilliant ideas and the ambition to scale internationally.

EIC has been established under and it is one of the main novelties of the EU Horizon Europe programme, with a budget of €10.1 billion for the period 2021-2027.

Supporting innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses and scientists under the European Innovation Council goes far beyond the awarding of grants and includes:

– Business Acceleration Services (BAS) that help accelerate the pace of innovation, including business advisory and flagship services such as the EIC Corporate Partnership Program Days, EIC Investor Days, Innovation procurement or EIC Women Leadership Programme,  where innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) can take advantage of opportunities to grow through their collaboration investors, business partners and peer innovators.

– The new EIC Fund, which makes direct capital and quasi-equity investments (between 0.5 and 15 million euros) in the capital stock of emerging and expanding European companies with deep technology and high impact.

– The EIC Greenhouse Gas (EIC GHG) program, in which SMEs receive expert support and guidance to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and co-create green innovations.

CaixaBank doubles the volume of its international sustainable financing in the first nine months of 2021

• The loan conditions are linked to meeting ESG factors, such as combating climate change, driving renewable energy, sustainable mobility, fostering equality, and more.

• In the third quarter of 2021, CaixaBank upholds its position as the sole Spanish bank in the TOP5 of sustainable financing in EMEA, according to the ranking Refinitiv.

CaixaBank has strengthened its presence in the international sustainable financing market, as part of its commitment to the ecological and social transition, doubling the volume of its deals completed outside its domestic market (Spain) in the first nine months of the year.

Between January and September, the bank’s international network has been involved in lending deals linked to ESG factors (environmental, social and good governance) for a total volume of 1.66 billion euros. This represents 137% growth on the same period last year. The figure is already 73% higher than the number reached throughout 2020 (960 million euros).

In all the deals, the loan conditions are linked to meeting ESG factors, such as combating climate change, driving renewable energy, sustainable mobility, fostering equality, and more.

Growth in Europe

By region, Europe is by far the most active region, resulting from CaixaBank’s strategy to increase its lending business on the continent through its Corporate and Institutional Banking & International Banking (CIB & IB) division, and its network of European branches and representation offices. Thus, 90% of the volume of international sustainable financing has been recorded in the region. By country, Italy, France and Portugal top the list, the latter through Banco BPI, wholly owned by CaixaBank. It is followed by Germany and the United Kingdom.

In the third quarter of 2021, CaixaBank upholds its position as the sole Spanish bank in the TOP 5 of sustainable financing in the EMEA (including Spain), according to the Top Tier ranking by Refinitiv.

Refinitiv Ranking —EMEA green and sustainable Loans (includes Spain)— 3rd quarter 2021

Featured funded deals

In Italy, where CaixaBank has a representation office, the bank has supported the power utility Enel in its sustainable syndicated financing and has participated in the sustainable credit facility of rail company Ferrovie dello Stato. Its conditions were linked to enhancing the company’s ESG rating, reducing the gender gap in executive positions, the accessibility of stations and sustainable mobility. In this last financing deal, CaixaBank was notable as the sole Spanish bank.

In France, CaixaBank has been involved in various deals such as the one reached with the water company Saur. In this case, CaixaBank has participated as the only Spanish bank in the signing of an inaugural sustainable credit which, among its goals, established greater efficiency in water use, reduced carbon intensity, and fostering equality.

In Portugal, CaixaBank has worked with BPI to advise and conclude various sustainable financing deals with the paper company Navigator, the communication and entertainment company Nos and glass container manufacturer BA Glass. In these cases, sustainability KPIs have been chiefly geared towards environmental goals such as reducing CO2 emissions in the production process and boosting the use of renewable energy.

In Germany, CaixaBank has taken part in financings such as sustainable credit facilities to appliance retailer Ceconomy, and retailer Rewe, with CaixaBank being the sole Spanish financial institution present in the deal. In this case, the conditions were linked to combating climate change and protecting biodiversity in the supply chain.

Of note in the United Kingdom is the sustainable financing of the transport company FirstGroup, whose margin was linked to the reduction of emissions and the percentage of electric vehicles, and the inaugural sustainable financing to Kingfisher.

Outside Europe, CaixaBank has concluded financings in Canada, the United States, Turkey and Australia. In Canada, as the sole Spanish bank, CaixaBank funded a green loan to the Henvey Inlet wind farm in Ontario, which has an installed capacity of 300 MW, while in Turkey CaixaBank has grown in the sustainable financing industry in the banking sector.

Furthermore, in 2021, CaixaBank closed its first sustainable financing in the Asia-Pacific region. This included the loan to the Sydney Light Railway (New South Wales) project, in which the bank, which is present in Australia through a representation office in Sydney, was the only participating Spanish bank. It is estimated that the light rail project will result in a reduction of 663,000 tons of greenhouse gases over a 30-year period. 

International activity in Sustainable Financing in 2021

CaixaBank’s international presence

CaixaBank’s international presence is channelled in different ways: through its International Banking network of branches and representation offices, all over the world; through cooperation agreements with first-rate international banks; and with stakes in international companies. The financial institution also owns Portugal’s Banco BPI, the fifth largest financial institution operating in Portugal in terms of assets. CaixaBank also has a share in the capital of the Austrian Erste Bank (9.92%).

CaixaBank’s CIB & IB network comprises branches in Germany, France, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, all of them, with the exception of Portugal, authorised by the Spanish and local regulator to provide certain financial services related to financing and banking services, such as short- and long-term financing, factoring, reverse factoring, and other similar activities within this kind of activity.

The institution also has 18 representation branches in all 5 continents: Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Singapore, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), New Delhi (India), Cairo (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Johannesburg (South Africa), New York (USA), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Lima (Peru), Sydney (Australia) and Toronto (Canada). It also has two Spanish Desk teams in Austria’s Erste Bank (Vienna) and Mexico’s Inbursa (Mexico City), to serve CaixaBank business customers in these markets.

The representation branches offer advice to multinational enterprises with subsidiaries in Spain, as well as to Spanish companies with projects abroad. Its main areas of coverage notably feature trade finance and payments, corporate and project finance. 

CaixaBank’s International Banking network is the only AENOR-certified international banking network in Spain. 

Besides its branch network, CaixaBank holds agreements with 1,760 correspondent banks, making it easier for companies from any country in the world to engage in international transactions and foreign trade.

CaixaBank reaches its highest volume in factoring and reverse factoring and becomes market leader in Spain

• The bank grew 2.6% compared to the first half of 2020 and reached a market share of 29%.

• The company has implemented important technological developments, which have led to growth in this sector.

CaixaBank closed the first half of 2021 with more than 27 billion euros of turnover in factoring and reverse factoring (payment and collection management), 2.6% higher than the same period last year and the highest figure achieved thus far. This growth makes CaixaBank the leader in Spain for the factoring and reverse factoring sector, with a market share of 29%.

Reverse factoring is a financial and administrative service that consists of managing a company’s payments to its domestic and foreign suppliers, who are offered the possibility of collecting invoices prior to the due date. More than 250,000 suppliers have benefited from the advantages of this service with advanced payments.

Suppliers can have an advance collection facility for all customer-confirmed invoices, without this funding creating exposure to supplier banking risk. CaixaBank has reached more than 15 billion euros in reverse factoring during the first half of 2021, 1.3% up on the same period last year. These figures mean the bank has become the Spanish leader with a market share of 32.4%.

Regarding factoring, CaixaBank has reached more than 12 billion euros in the first half of 2021, 4.2% up on the first quarter of 2020 and it has reached a market share of 25.7%, also placing the bank at the top of the Spanish ranking. Factoring is the set of collection, financing and insolvency coverage management services for domestic and international credit sales. Factoring boosts financing capacity and provides instant liquidity by financing the amount of sales. It also avoids the risk of insolvency non-performance and reduces defaults and delinquency.

Technological developments

CaixaBank has recently implemented a series of digitalisation developments that are proving crucial to the growth that is being achieved in this factoring and reverse factoring segment.

More than 12,000 advances are made per month via digital banking. In that regard, a new reverse factoring app has been launched that enables customers and suppliers to execute the assignment of credit agreements and advances anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from a smartphone.

Furthermore, CaixaBank has made a new digital service (dashboard) available to its customers and suppliers that provides easy access to the key aspects of their reverse factoring contracts, such as the amount of their next payment, information on their payments in the coming weeks, discovering their suppliers’ use of their reverse factoring, the status of the last remittance sent, and the most active payers and suppliers. For suppliers, the dashboard provides easy access to functions such as upcoming collection, a 16-week collection forecast and its status, total of the outstanding portfolio that can be advanced, and use over the past twelve months, among other aspects.

CaixaBank, the bank chosen by companies

CaixaBank has consolidated itself as a benchmark institution for businesses with a specialised model, with a network of 150 CaixaBank Empresas centres distributed across all the autonomous communities in Spain, with more than 1,500 highly-qualified employees and a solid reputation in business consulting.

Internationally, CaixaBank supports its business customers with various operational solutions with effective regional access to 127 markets in different countries in addition to its highly-specialised advisers — including specialists in financing and services, foreign trade and liquid assets, structured financing, tourism and real estate — who work in the branches in Spain, offering the best advice for business transactions abroad. The institution provides services to both SMEs and micro-enterprises beginning their export activities, and large corporations and business groups handling more complex international projects.