BAM GreenStar expands and joins Nasdaq's global green platform

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Build America Mutual will now verify any green bond transaction issued by an existing BAM member, even if it’s not insured, according to the insurer.

BAM will also be making some changes to its GreenStar program, by continuing reporting requirements for participating issuers. GreenStar verified bonds will also now by eligible for inclusion on Nasdaq’s global platform for green bonds.

Seán W. McCarthy, chief executive officer of Build America Mutual.

“The BAM GreenStar program supports our mission by making the green bond market more efficient and transparent for our member issuers who are investing in climate, resilient and low-carbon infrastructure, and for the growing number of investors who want to support projects with positive environmental impacts,” said Seán W. McCarthy, BAM’s chief executive officer.

The GreenStar program recently verified its 100th transaction, and now covers more than $1.5 billion of debt sold to finance environmentally positive projects, including wastewater plant upgrades, energy efficiency improvements, clean water supply projects, and climate change adaptation and mitigation investments.

“We are pleased to partner with Build America Mutual as a step to further expand the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network in the U.S. municipal market. BAM has played an important role in helping its local government member issuers demonstrate their alignment with the International Capital Markets Association’s Green Bond Principles, and including these transactions in the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network will help bring global investors’ attention to this growing sector within the green bond market,” said Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, head of sustainable bonds at Nasdaq.

The two active muni bond insurers have seen a 44.2% increase year-over-year in new business as of July 31, as COVID-19 has created credit concerns, thus leading to more insurance use.

“After two years and more than 100 transactions, we have developed a very efficient process for verifying a bond’s alignment with the ICMA principles, which we can leverage to serve even more issuers,” said Laura Levenstein, BAM’s chief risk officer.

“We’ve seen increasing interest in the BAM GreenStar verification on larger transactions for projects that can have a significant impact on their communities and these changes will help more of our issuer members tap the green bond market to move forward with those projects affordably.”

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