EU to sell €75bn of bonds in first half of 2024

The European Commission has announced its intention to sell up to €75 billion of EU-Bonds in the first half (H1) of 2024.

As in 2023, the Commission will raise this long-term debt under its unified funding approach, using single-branded EU-Bonds, the Commission said.

In 2023, the Commission raised €115.9 billion in long-term debt over the course of the year.

“The Commission will continue to complement its long-term funding operations with issuance of short-term EU-Bills,” said the Commission.

“The funds raised will be used primarily to meet payments related to NextGenerationEU and notably the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

“The Commission’s funding plan for H1 2024 builds on a strong year of funding transactions in 2023: in total, the Commission raised €115.9 billion in long-term funds over the course of the year.

“This included NGEU Green Bond issuances of €12.5 billion, which brought the total amount of NGEU Green Bonds outstanding to €48.9 billion.

“The Commission will continue to finance the green component of the RRF in H1 2024 by issuing NextGenerationEU Green Bonds.

“As ever, green bond issuances will continue to remain firmly anchored to climate-relevant expenditures reported by Member States, in accordance with the NextGenerationEU Green Bond Framework.

“2024 will also mark the launch of the European Issuance Service (EIS) in January.

“The EIS will enable new EU debt securities to be settled in the same way as the securities of large EU sovereign issuers.

“This follows the introduction of quoting arrangements and the unified funding approach in 2023, and forms part of the Commission’s ongoing actions to develop the market infrastructure that supports the trading of EU-Bonds.”

Since January 2023, the Commission has issued single branded EU-Bonds rather than separately labelled bonds for individual programmes.

The proceeds of these single-branded bonds are allocated to relevant programmes according to the procedures set out in the applicable agreements.

NextGenerationEU Green Bond issuances continue to finance only measures eligible under the NextGenerationEU Green Bond Framework.

The Commission said that to further boost the secondary market liquidity of EU-Bonds, it has introduced a framework to provide investors with pricing quotes for EU securities on electronic platforms.

EU Primary Dealers started quoting prices for EU Bonds on November 1, 2023.

The Commission is also working on a facility to support the use of EU-Bonds as an instrument for repurchase agreements (to be implemented by mid-2024).