Three of Australia’s largest industry superannuation funds have participated in a A$562m (€344m) social bond issue by state-owned National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

IPE Real Assets understands that UniSuper, Hesta and Cbus Super participated in the issuance dubbed the single largest issue of social bonds yet in Australia.

The funds raised will support 10 community housing providers around the country. They will finance the construction of 2,736 properties, including 775 new dwellings.

A Cbus Super spokesman told IPE Real Assets the super fund had been allocated A$49m in the latest NHFIC bond issue.

Cbus Super, a long-standing advocate for a housing bond aggregator, supported NHFIC’s first two bond issues, each for A$315m. Both of these were launched in 2019.

NHFIC CEO, Nathan Dal Bon, said the AAA-rated bond drew strong interest from domestic and offshore investors, including a number of Australian superannuation funds.

Dal Bon said the capital would be channelled directly to community housing providers to support those Australians most in need at such a challenging time.

Since March 2019, NHFIC has issued nearly A$1.2bn in social bonds, making it the biggest issuer of these in Australia. Its funding has supported the construction of more than 7,100 new and existing homes.

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