List of Companies with bonds that meet the Riksbank’s criteria
To clarify which companies with outstanding bonds that meet the Riksbank's formal criteria, the Riksbank once a month publishes a list of these companies. The list is updated on the first weekday of every month at 16.20 (CET).
New companies with outstanding bonds which meet the criteria will be added to the list when it is next updated. It is only after they have been added to the list that the Riksbank can choose to purchase bonds issued by these companies. However, when changes are made that lead to a company on the list no longer meeting the Riksbank's criteria, the Riksbank will immediately exclude further purchases of these bonds. The company will be removed from the list at the next monthly update.
Formal criteria for the Riksbank to purchase a bond
According to the decision by the Executive Board, the Riksbank may purchase bonds issued in Swedish krona by Swedish non-financial corporations. This also includes captive financial institutions and money lenders as well as investment companies if they are considered to have a broad ownership diversification. Bonds issued by companies with mainly financial operations or companies included in financial groups will not be purchased through this programme. This means, for instance, that companies under the supervision of Finansinspektionen, or which are registered with Finansinspektionen, are not included on the list.
The bonds the Riksbank may purchase must meet the following criteria:
- Be senior, non-subordinated.
- On the date of purchase have a time to maturity of no less than six months and no more than 5 years.
- Have been issued at least 30 days prior to the purchase date.
- Have credit ratings no lower than Baa3/BBB-, from anyone of the credit rating institutes Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, Nordic Credit Rating or Scope Ratings, or if they have no such rating, be issued by companies with credit ratings no less than Baa3/BBB- from the same credit rating institutes.
- If the company and/or the bonds have more than one credit rating, none of these may be below the lowest accepted credit rating.
- On the purchase date, there shall be no indications that any of these credit ratings may fall below the lowest acceptable credit rating level.
- Be issued by companies that comply with international standards and norms for sustainability according to the Riksbank’s sustainability assessment, which is based on a norms-based negative screening performed by an external provider of sustainability analysis data.
Other rules and considerations related to the Riksbank’s purchases
In addition, the Riksbank has decided on issuer limits, which mean that the Riksbank shall not, at each time of purchase, own more than 50 per cent of an individual issuer’s total outstanding volume of corporate bonds in Swedish krona, and that the Riksbank at each time of purchase shall not own more than 50 per cent of an individual bond issue.
In addition to the application of the above criteria and issuer limits, the Riksbank can make internal assessments to limit risks linked to the purchases. The Riksbank shall to a reasonable extent take into account the risks the purchases entail for the Riksbank's balance sheet. This implies that the Riksbank when buying these bonds shall consider financial risks, legal risks and reputational risks. This could mean in practice, for instance, avoiding the purchase of bonds that have a complex or non-standardised structure or documentation, or a too small outstanding bond volume. The Riksbank always reserves the right to refrain from the purchase of specific bonds if there are circumstances indicating this would be inappropriate.
The Riksbank’s purchases of corporate bonds are justified in terms of monetary policy and they will be designed in a way that ensures a broad impact on the Swedish corporate bond market and thereby on companies’ credit supply. The Riksbank applies objective criteria that take into account the principle of equal treatment of both counterparties and companies. The Riksbank will therefore endeavour to build up a portfolio over time that proportionately reflects the total volume of bonds covered by the Riksbank’s purchases.
When selecting corporate bonds based on sustainability considerations, the Riksbank will adhere to the principles of equality, objectivity and proportionality. This means that companies that are similar shall be treated equally, that departures or exemptions from this shall only be made on factual grounds, at the same time as the decision to reject bonds issued by a company shall be in reasonable proportion to the negative consequences the choice has for the company. In this context, the Riksbank will also take into account the principle of market neutrality. This means that the choice of corporate bonds based on sustainability considerations shall be made with the aim of avoiding distorting effects on the Swedish market for these securities, in accordance with the monetary policy aim of the purchasing programme.
The Riksbank therefore bases its purchases on the principles of market neutrality and equal treatment, but the actual purchases will be dependent on aspects such as available supply and the pricing of bonds on the market, as well as on the abovementioned internal assessments.