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Announcement:

Moody's assigns Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 to the €14 million green bonds issued by GEN-I Sonce d.o.o. on March 2, 2017.

01 Apr 2019

New York, April 01, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) today assigned a Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 (Excellent) to the €14 million green bonds issued by GEN-I Sonce d.o.o. on March 2, 2017, with a maturity date of March 2, 2024.

"Our GB1 assessment of this first issue of green bonds in Slovenia is driven by the use of proceeds to construct qualifying solar power projects, as well as our expectation of comprehensive impact reporting" -- said Anna-Zubets-Anderson, VP-Senior Analyst.

ASSESSMENT RATIONALE

The assessment is driven by our expectation that the net proceeds of the bonds will be used entirely for investments that comply with ICMA's Green Bond Principles, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and pollution prevention. We expect that the net proceeds from the issuance will be used predominantly to fund the construction of solar power plants on residential homes and commercial properties, as well as their insurance and maintenance.

GEN-I Group' core business is purchasing and supply of electricity and natural gas in the wholesale and retail markets throughout Europe. With decarbonization being one of the key factors affecting the industry, the company has demonstrated its own commitment to the rapid transition to a low-carbon society with the introduction of its GEN-I Sonce brand. Since the middle of March 2017, GEN-I Sonce became the first market player in Slovenia to offer households the self-sufficient supply of electricity using solar energy.

The bond documentation requires that every investment must comply with two of the three conditions: (i) It increases the production of renewable energy in Slovenia, (ii) It reduces CO2 emissions, or (iii) It promotes energy savings or increases energy efficiency. At the time of bond issue, GEN-I Sonce has committed to achieving at least one of the following environmental goals through its operations:

• Creating energy savings from increased energy efficiency by at least 1,000,000 kWh in 2017 and 2,000,000 kWh per year thereafter, for a combined total of at least 10,000,000 kWh

• Reducing CO2 emissions by 400,000 kg of CO2 in 2017, and thereafter by 800,000 kg per year, for a combined total of at least 3,000,000 kg CO2 through the bond maturity date

• Increasing production of electricity from renewable sources by 600,000 kWh in 2017, and thereafter by 1,200,000 kWh per year, for a combined total of at least 4,500,000 kWh through the bond maturity date.

Our assessment also reflects our understanding of the policies and procedures pertaining to the use of proceeds. Upon closing of the transaction, all green bond proceeds were deposited in a separate Green Account, which is an account where the company keeps proceeds from the bond issuance, along with cash inflows associated with the project installation and maintenance activities. While we view this account as being essentially an operating account of the company, it does not present an issue under our GBA methodology, since the outflows are only permitted for the qualifying purposes described above. We note, however, that there is a significant uncertainty as to when the green bond proceeds will become fully utilized, since the volume and timing of projects are subject to market demand. We also note that the company does not use second party reviews or other external certifications over the selection and management of its green projects, or its environmental impact measurement and reporting. These weaknesses are reflected in our assessment.

The company has committed to publishing an annual green bond report, which, among other things, reports on the use of funds in the Green Account. The green bond report is accompanied by the Independent Auditor Report, which outlines the results of agreed-upon procedures, performed with the objective of verifying that the inflows, outflows and the balance in the account are compliant with the terms of the green bond documentation.

The assessment also reflects our expectation of comprehensive environmental impact reporting practices over the life of the bonds. The company provides summary environmental benefits of GEN-I Sonce activities in the audited annual financial report of GEN-I Group.

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

GEN-I Sonce d.o.o. is a fully owned subsidiary of GEN-I Group, which is a purchaser and supplier of electricity and natural gas in the wholesale and retail markets throughout Europe, including Austria, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Slovenia. In 2017, the GEN-I Group further expanded its core activities with the sale, supply and installation of solar power plants and other products aimed at increasing energy efficiency. These services are provided by the subsidiary GEN-I Sonce, which mission is to enable households to become energy self-sufficient and to promote the use of renewable energy as the path to achieving a low-carbon society. The GEN-I Group generated more than €2.3 billion in revenues in 2017.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead rating analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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.

Anna Zubets-Anderson
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Jim Hempstead
MD - Utilities
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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