The Church of England Foundation will sell bonds for the first time

The main foundation of the Church of England raises funds in the debt market for the first time.

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The main foundation of the Church of England raises funds in the debt market for the first time.

Although it is highly unusual for a religious organization to sell bonds, the Church of England has a history of active investment, particularly in socially responsible causes.

The Church Commissioners for England, who manage a £10 billion ($12.1 billion) investment portfolio on behalf of the church, will sell off the pound-denominated debt.

Proceeds are used for general purposes, as well as environmental and social projects, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as he is not authorized to discuss the matter. Church officials will begin speaking to investors on Monday to gauge market interest.

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The bond sale is also unusual as it comes at a time when other organizations are abandoning their debt sales due to market volatility. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, sales of pound corporate bonds this year are proceeding at about half the pace of 2021.

While investors will no doubt view the church as a safe issuer, borrowing costs have risen significantly in recent months. In the UK, an index that tracks sterling bond spreads is close to the highest since 2020.

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Other investment arms of the church have sold bonds in the past. The Church of England Pensions Board has two bonds totaling £150million.

Proceeds from the sustainability bond will be used to fund green and social projects, such as renewable energy, clean transportation, green buildings and climate change adaptation, according to the church’s sustainable funding framework.

Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are hosting virtual investor meetings, the person familiar with the deal said. The church did not immediately respond to a Bloomberg News request for comment.

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