Copying and distributing are prohibited without permission of KangaNews. Please contact [email protected]


KangaNews launches its new sustainable bond league tables to capture market evolution

KangaNews has launched its revamped sustainable bond league tables for the Australian and New Zealand markets, having updated the league table criteria to include sustainability-linked as well as labelled bonds, following a period of extensive research. The goal is to deliver a robust, best-practice methodology that can adapt to market evolution while demanding high standards from issuers and deal arrangers.

Innovation leads to change. In the context of debt markets, the sector with most momentum in the last few years is environmental, social and governance (ESG)-aligned bonds. According to Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), sustainable debt issuance topped US$1 trillion in 2021, marking a 57 per cent increase on 2020 volume.

Sustainable bond issuance in Australia experienced even more spectacular growth in 2021 compared with the prior year – of 129 per cent. By 30 April, total volume for 2022 had almost reached full-year 2020 issuance (see chart 1). The New Zealand market likewise experienced substantial growth in sustainable bond issuance over recent years (see chart 2).

Source: KangaNews 30 April 2022

Source: KangaNews 30 April 2022


KangaNews league tables exist to showcase the top lead managers for volume and number of deals arranged in a sector. There is more to it than this, however. In setting criteria for league table inclusion, data providers are also saying something about the credibility of transactions issued with a particular label. By including it in a league table, the provider is inevitably – if unintentionally – making a comment about a deal’s bona fides.

The aim of KangaNews league tables has always been to promote transparency and credibility and, as far as possible, to promote best-in-class deals. Each time KangaNews has created a league table for a sector or updated the criteria for existing league tables, we have undertaken an extensive consultation process with market participants to ensure the best outcome.

KangaNews launched sustainable bond league tables in 2019. The first criteria centred on use of proceeds (UOP) deals – because at that time only this type of bond had been issued in the Australian or New Zealand markets. In 2021, the first sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) were issued in Australia, however – and it is clear this instrument has an important role to play in the ongoing supply story.

Even before the introduction of SLBs, labelled bond issuance had started to evolve in ways that prompted KangaNews to re-evaluate the league-table inclusion criteria. The original intention behind the UOP criterion was to include only labelled bonds that could show one-to­-one matching of proceeds with projects funded. Sustainable bonds issued by two supranational issuers show how tricky it can be to apply strict criteria, in this case regarding UOP.

Nowadays, World Bank has a sustainable development bond (SDB) framework in place and has issued Kangaroo deals in SDB format since 1 July 2018 – when it started publishing an impact report on these bonds. The SDB framework was first published in June 2020 as part of the FY19 SDB impact report and was published as a standalone document in March 2021. According to World Bank, all bonds that are not issued under its green bond programme are SDBs. The issuer bases this on its mandate – the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity by fostering income growth for the bottom 40 per cent of the population in every developing country by 2030.

World Bank’s SDB framework outlines how the bonds and processes align with the four pillars of the Sustainability Bond Guidelines (SBGs). However, when it comes to UOP, there is no specific matching of funds to projects. Instead, the supranational says all bonds support the financing of a combination of green and social programmes and activities in its member countries.

Until the April 2022 update to KangaNews’s sustainable bond league table criteria, these bonds were excluded from our sustainable bond league tables on the basis that there was not strict one-to-one matching of funds to projects.

Another example is Asian Development Bank’s theme bonds, which fall into the generic category of social bonds. These bonds finance specific issues such as gender, health and education. KangaNews had also excluded these bonds from its sustainable bond league tables on the basis that the UOP language uses the term “best efforts” and there is no framework for these theme bonds.


By January 2022, it was clear that the league table criteria needed a significant overhaul. At the same time, KangaNews decided to conduct a thorough review of labelled bonds issued in the Australian and New Zealand markets to determine whether they fit the new criteria.

For the 2022 review, KangaNews spoke to a wide range of market participants in an attempt to ensure its new criteria are credible and, as far as possible, harmonised with the work other data providers are doing in this space.

KangaNews consulted with supranational, sovereign and agency (SSA) and domestic high-grade issuers, investors in Australia and offshore, sustainable finance intermediaries, and data providers such as Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), the Luxembourg Green Exchange and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

The biggest challenge when creating league tables is to come up with criteria that are objective and neutral, and perceived to be such. Although there will inevitably be nuances that require a degree of subjective interpretation, as far as possible the idea is to have criteria based on externally acceptable and verifiable elements. Wherever possible, KangaNews wants its league table criteria not to rely on individual judgement calls about eligibility that could be open to inconsistency.

The result of this consultation process is just one criterion added for sustainable bond league tables, in addition to those used for the other KangaNews league tables. To qualify as sustainable for league table purposes, a bond must be aligned with recognised, external global principles or standards. At this stage, KangaNews accepts the following:

  • For green bonds: ICMA Green Bond Principles (GBP) (or CBI Climate Bonds Standard as proxy, noting that this guarantees GBP alignment).
  • For social bonds: ICMA Social Bond Principles.
  • For sustainability bonds: ICMA Sustainability Bond Guidelines.
  • For sustainability-linked bonds: ICMA Sustainability-linked Bond Principles.
  • For transition bonds: ICMA Climate Transition Finance Handbook.

In analysing each labelled and SLB transaction issued in the Australian and New Zealand markets, it became apparent that the definition of “aligned” will be the trickiest to navigate. The market users KangaNews spoke to agree that, for all issuers outside the SSA sector, the strictest sense of alignment should apply. Corporate and financial institution borrowers that issue UOP bonds or SLBs will be required to follow all core components as well as the key recommendations of the ICMA principles (a framework and external review).

When it comes to SSA issuers, some leeway will be given in that labelled bonds should follow the core principles and, preferably, the issuer should have a framework (a key recommendation of the ICMA principles). If there is no framework, KangaNews will assess on a case-by-case basis whether the bond will be included in the league tables. Specific considerations like the depth and frequency of impact reporting will be taken into account.


There are six sets of sustainable bond league tables for each of the Australian and New Zealand markets. These cover local and international issuers, and combined volume – with each of these three further broken down into league tables including and excluding self-led deals. There are annual and cumulative league tables – beginning from 2019 – across the six sets.

ANZ leads the Australian sustainable bond cumulative league table for all issuers including self-led deals. National Australia Bank (NAB) is second, followed closely by Nomura, RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities (see table 1). ANZ and Nomura take first and second place in the all issuers excluding self-led deals cumulative league table, with RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities and NAB making up the top five (see table 2).

Table 1. Australian Sustainable Bond Cumulative League Table - All issuers
(including self-led deals)*

BookrunnerVolume (A$M)No. of dealsMarket share (per cent)
ANZ 9,724 42  16.4
National Australia Bank 5,996  25  10.1 
Nomura 5,698 38 10
RBC Capital Markets 5,596 33 9.4
TD Securities 5,486 34 9.2
Commonwealth Bank of Australia 5,388 34 9.2
Deutsche Bank 4,773 26 8
UBS 3,727 14 6.3
Westpac Institutional Bank 3,653 20 6.2
J.P. Morgan 3,279 20 5.5
BofA Securities 1,825 4 3.1
Citi 1,083 6 1.8
Daiwa Capital Markets 792 7 1.3
HSBC 600 8 1
Mizuho 578 7 1
MUFG Securities 438 3 0.7
BNP Paribas 325 4 0.6
OCBC Bank 200 2 0.3
SMBC Nikko 183 2 0.3
Bank of China 75 1 0.1
TOTAL 59,420    100

*Includes all sustainable bonds issued in Australian market by local and international issuers
Source: KangaNews 30 April 2022

Table 2. Australian Sustainable Bond Cumulative League Table - All issuers
(excluding self-led deals)*

BookrunnerVolume (A$m)No. of dealsMarket share (per cent)
ANZ 7,874 40 14.3
Nomura 5,698 38 10.4 
RBC Capital Markets 5,596 33 10.2 
TD Securities 5,486 34 10 
National Australia Bank 5,196 23 9.5 
Deutsche Bank 4,773 26 8.7 
Commonwealth Bank of Australia 4,238 32 7.7 
UBS 3,727 14 6.8 
J.P. Morgan 3,279 20
Westpac Institutional Bank 3,153 19 5.7 
BofA Securities 1,825 4 3.3 
Citi 1,083 6
Daiwa Capital Markets 792 7 1.4 
HSBC 600 8 1.1 
Mizuho 578 7 1.1 
MUFG Securities 438 3 0.8 
BNP Paribas 325 4 0.6 
SMBC Nikko 183 2 0.3 
Bank of China 75 1 0.1 
TOTAL 54,920   100

*Includes all sustainable bonds issued in Australian market by local and international issuers
Source: KangaNews 30 April 2022

ANZ also leads the Australian local issuers cumulative league table, which exclude Kangaroo volume. NAB trails closely in second in the excluding self-led deals league table, with UBS, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Westpac Institutional Bank taking the next three places. The including self-led deals cumulative league table features an identical top five with UBS and CBA changing places.

Nomura is first in the Kangaroo cumulative league table, followed closely by RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities. J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank are fourth and fifth.

In New Zealand, ANZ leads the sustainable bond cumulative league table for all issuers, with BNZ, Westpac Banking Corporation New Zealand Branch, CBA and TD Securities in tow (see table 3). ANZ also leads the New Zealand local issuers cumulative league tables, with Forsyth Barr in fifth.

In the Kauri cumulative league tables, ANZ and BNZ are tying for first with TD Securities close behind. CBA and Westpac are in fourth and fifth.

Table 3. New Zealand Sustainable Bond Cumulative League Table - All issuers
(including self-led deals)*

BookrunnerVolume (NZ$M)No. of dealsMarket share (per cent)
ANZ  5,763  38 34.7
BNZ 4,892 29 29.5
Westpac 2,271 17 13.7
Commonwealth Bank of Australia 1,567 9 9.4
TD Securities 1,000 5 6
Forsyth Barr 363 9 2.2
Craigs Investment Partners 313 6 1.9
UBS 200 2 1.2
Jarden Securities 125 4 0.8
Hobson Wealth Partners 50 2 0.3
Deutsche Craigs 33 1 0.2
First New Zealand Capital 25 1 0.2
TOTAL 16,600   100

* No self-led deals. Includes sustainable bonds issued in the New Zealand market by local and internatio­nal issuers
Source: KangaNews 30 April 2022

The content on is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy before using the site. All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © BondNews Limited