Barclays to offer solar bonds for 300 MW in Japan


British banking and investment group Barclays is set to begin offering solar bonds in Japan next year, according to a report on Tuesday by Bloomberg.

Speaking to the news agency, Morifumi Yotsumoto, Barclay’s head of debt capital markets in Tokyo, said renewable energy was a sector that had a great potential, adding that project bonds were attractive for investors “as an alternative that offers a long-term and relatively high spread.”

Barclays is considering arranging as much as JPY 50 billion ($418 million) of notes to finance a maximum of 300 MW of solar projects, Yotsumoto said, pointing out that while it may go slowly at first, “it is the kind of market that quickly expands once investors get the hang of it.”

Bloomberg also quoted Akihiko Inoue, chief structured finance analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., a unit of Japanese banking giant Mizuho Financial Group, who said major investors were “looking to diversify their investments, including project finance,” adding that it was possible they would buy up project bonds given the current state of interest rates.

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Barclays follows Goldman Sachs Group, which began offering solar bonds in Japan in 2013 and has since arranged JPY 17.3 billion ($144.7 million) of notes for 16 projects with a combined capacity of 58 MW, Bloomberg reported.

The Japanese government expects current incentives, introduced in 2012, to double the country’s share of renewable energy by 2030.

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