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Announcement:

Moody's assigns Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 to the City of Gothenburg Green Medium Term Note Offering

 The document has been translated in other languages

Global Credit Research - 31 May 2016

Highest GB1 Grade Assigned to City of Gothenburg Green Notes Offering

New York, May 31, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 to the City of Gothenburg's Euro Medium Term Notes to be issued pursuant to the City of Gothenburg's Euro Medium Term Note Programme. The final maturity and amount will be determined prior to issuance.

The proceeds from the note offering will be allocated to finance eligible environmental projects that qualify under the City of Gothenburg's Green Bond Framework. Such projects may be oriented toward mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, or can be focused on achieving a sustainable environment, up to a maximum of 20%, may be fully or partially funded by the city. These projects are described in more detail in the City of Gothenburg's annual investor reports, both in terms of currently funded projects as well as forecasted allocations to existing or new projects.

ASSESSMENT RATIONALE

The City of Gothenburg (Aaa stable), which has already issued three green transactions between 2013 and 2015, for a total of SEK3.36 billion (about $405.4 million, based on current exchange rates), is planning to issue a note under the City's Euro Medium Term Note Programme, with the proceeds to be allocated to finance both existing as well as new environmental projects.

The City of Gothenburg has developed a formal and rigorous process to identify, consider, evaluate and select eligible projects for funding through the issuance of green bonds.

Within the broad context of the City's Environmental Program and Climate Strategy initiatives, municipal companies and city administrations, which annually submit investment reports covering the next 10 years, are asked to identify any investment projects that they believe might be suitable for financing via the issuance of green bonds. These reports, as well as any others that may be identified as potentially eligible, are segregated and reviewed by the City Office (both Urban Development and Treasury Departments). Projects are reviewed for both their financial considerations and environmental impacts. The outcome, if positive, results in the submission of an application for funding through green bonds that is further evaluated by the City's Environmental Department where support is provided by about 150 environmental experts and administrative personnel. In addition to qualifying on the basis of their environmental factors, projects are screened to ensure that they are aligned with the Green Bond Framework and the City's Environmental Program and Climate Strategy initiatives. The City Executive Board ultimately approves eligible projects for funding.

100% of the proceeds will be allocated to one or more of the listed project categories, including projects intended to mitigate and adapt to climate change, that qualify under the City of Gothenburg's Green Bond Framework which was evaluated by CICERO, an independent research center associated with the University of Oslo, in July 2013 and again in March 2015 with second party opinions produced in both instances.

The project categories are, as follows:

• Renewable energy (solar, wind, wave, bio, waste and hydro)

• Energy efficiency

• Waste management

• Water management

• Biofuel

• Smart grids

• Sustainable transportation (e.g. public transport, cycle and shipping infrastructure)

• Sustainable housing (e.g. infrastructure and construction)

• Environmental (maximum 20%)

• Biodiversity

• Water clearing facilities

• Air pollution

• Chemicals

Examples of projects that were funded in 2015 include GoBiGas, a concept facility for large scale production of biogas aimed at avoidance of CO2 emissions, sustainable housing that contributes to lower energy consumption and The Bicycle City, a program that forms part of a broad objective to reduce car traffic and CO2 emissions due to road traffic by 80%, to mention just a few.

The nature of the budgeting process with its significant lead time means that the City is empowered to forecast in its annual investor report for the benefit of investors expected financial allocations to individual projects that are further described qualitatively and on the basis of mitigation or adaptation indicators, applicable environmental categories, impact indicators as well as projected dollar amounts to be spent--which the Treasury indicates it can do with 90% confidence. This level of disclosure is now provided for existing projects as well as any new project initiatives in the form of the evolving annual investor disclosures, for example the 2015 Investor Report issued in March 2016.

A special budget account is maintained for the purpose of supporting the City of Gothenburg's lending for eligible green projects. While the green bonds or notes are outstanding and the special account continues to carry a positive balance, funds will be tracked and deducted from the special account at the end of each quarter and added to the City of Gothenburg's lending pool in an amount equal to all disbursements from that pool made during such quarter to cover eligible green projects. At this time, an independent internal or external audit of the books and records of the special account is not explicitly conducted.

The City has adopted a set of investment policies and guidelines for its funds which also applies to balances maintained in the special account. Such policies are generally designed to mitigate credit and interest rate risks, counterparty risks, exchange rate risks and operational risks. In addition, the policy extends to the consideration of ethical factors that must be observed. Such factors include the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which calls for the integration of environmental, social and governance factors into investment management practices, ecological considerations as well as the City's own Environmental Policy and current climate and environmental strategies.

The City of Gothenburg is committed to transparent reporting and conservative assessments when reporting these results. In this vein, project level data is shown on the City's website and updates are posted on an ongoing basis. Such disclosures include project name and the annual dollar amounts allocated. Further, the City is committed to provide annual investor reports. The reports, which have now been produced and issued for three consecutive years, have evolved and expanded. For calendar year 2015, the Investor Report, which was timely issued in March 2016, includes a general summary of the City of Gothenburg's Green Bond development, a list of projects and a selection of project examples. As noted above, additional project details, including project expectations and impact are also provided.

For the first time, this information is being supplemented by a Green Bond Impact Report, to be published in June 2016, that discloses impact data for individual projects. While limited standards for impact reporting are available and practices are evolving worldwide, the City has provided a variety of key results indicators, including four core indicators mainly targeting projects within the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors have been selected and where possible quantified, including supplemental disclosures of methodologies and key underlying assumptions. In part, the report aims to describe actual results where possible as well as providing an assessment of what kind of results can be expected from certain projects in the future.

The City of Gothenburg is a port city in Sweden with a strategic location between Oslo and Copenhagen. It has a population of around 533,000 and is Sweden's second largest city. The Gothenburg region, which spans 13 municipalities in Greater Gothenburg, has a population of 1.1 million. The City has taken a leadership role globally to address climate and environmental challenges by adopting as its aim the achievement of "maintaining an equitable and sustainable level of greenhouse gas emissions 2050." Working through the Environmental and Climate Committee, with support from the corporate sector and its citizenry, the City of Gothenburg has adopted an ambitious intermediate-term Environmental Programme that includes a concrete action plan consisting of 12 key objectives and tangible action plans to be met by 2020 while the broader Climate strategy is focused on achieving the City's goals by 2050. At the same time, a separate climate adaptation initiatives have also been undertaken.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Green Bonds Assessment (GBA) published in March 2016. Please see the Ratings Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Ratings Definitions page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Ratings Definitions page on www.moodys.com for further information on the time horizon in which a credit rating action may be expected after a review or outlook action took place.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer page on www.moodys.com for the last action and the history of the rating. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com/disclosures for further information.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com/disclosures for disclosures on significant Moody's shareholders and on certain relationships between Moody's, its shareholders and/or rated issuers.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Henry Shilling
Senior Vice President
Env., Social and Governance
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Falk Frey
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
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JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's assigns Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 to the City of Gothenburg Green Medium Term Note Offering
No Related Data.
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