6.3 Financial liabilities, financial costs and managing the financial risks of liabilities

The company takes advantage of the opportunities offered by credit ratings at any given time on the international and domestic money markets. Market-based and diversified financing is sought from several sources. The goal is a balanced maturity profile. Fingrid’s existing loan agreements, debt or commercial paper programmes are unsecured and do not include any financial covenants based on financial ratios.

The company operates in the debt capital, commercial paper and loan markets: 

  • For long-term financing, the company has an international Medium Term Note Programme (“EMTN Programme”), totalling EUR 1.5 billion.
  • Fingrid has an international Euro Commercial Paper Programme (“ECP Programme”) totalling EUR 600 million.
  • Fingrid has a domestic commercial paper programme totalling EUR 150 million.
  • Furthermore, Fingrid has bilateral long-term loan agreements with both the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).

Green financing

Green financing is an important part of Fingrid’s financing strategy and responsible operating model. Fingrid was the first Finnish company to issue a Green Bond in 2017. Green Bonds are used to finance projects that are expected to have long-term net positive environmental impacts. Green Bond projects connect renewable energy production to Fingrid’s transmission network, reduce electricity transmission losses and create smart solutions that save energy and the environment. Fingrid annually reports on the impacts of its Green Bond projects by publishing a separate impact report on its website under Investors. As of 2019, the company also discloses the estimated amount of carbon dioxide emissions that have been avoided through these projects in carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes. The company’s objective is to increase the share of green financing in its total financing.

Fingrid’s EMTN programme and bonds are listed on the London Stock Exchange. On 9 January 2019, Fingrid listed the EMTN Programme and bonds on the Irish Stock Exchange (Euronext Dublin) in addition to the London Stock exchange. Dual listing enables the trading of debt issues and new debt issue listings on these two stock exchanges.

Fingrid and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a EUR 100 million long term loan agreement for reinforcing and developing Finland’s electricity transmission grid on 7 February 2019. The EIB’s funding supports Fingrid’s investment programme, which aims to reinforce and develop the nation-wide electricity transmission grid.

Fingrid and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) signed a twenty-year EUR 100 million loan agreement concerning the expansion and reinforcement of the transmission grid. The loan will be used to finance Fingrid’s investments that will enable the power system transformation to accommodate the growing production of renewable energy and the reinforcement of the grid to keep Finland as a single price area.

The graph below illustrates Fingrid’s various sources of debt financing. Fingrid sources debt financing mainly from the international debt capital markets.

Kuva, total debt

Borrowings are as follows:

14. BORROWINGS, €1,000 2019 2018 Hierarchy level
  Fair value Balance 
sheet value
% Fair value Balance 
sheet value
%  
               
Non-current              
Bonds 701,100 613,921   743,043 663,629   Level 2
Loans from financial institutions 249,487 240,216   115,404 107,879   Level 2
  950,588 854,138   858,446 771,508    
Lease liabilities   30,515          
    884,652 79%   771,508  73%  
               
Current              
Bonds 50,136 50,000   20,848 20,104   Level 2
Loans from financial institutions 18,900 17,662   23,855 22,600   Level 2
Other loans/Commercial papers (international and domestic) 165,106 165,315   245,183 245,387   Level 2
  234,142 232,978   289,886 288,091    
Lease liabilities   2,371          
    235,349 21%   288,091 27%  
Total 1,184,730 1,120,001 100% 1,148,332 1,059,598 100%  

The fair values of borrowings are based on the present values of cash flows. Loans raised in various currencies are measured at the present value on the basis of the yield curve of each currency. The discount rate includes the company-specific and loan-specific risk premium. Borrowings denominated in foreign currencies are translated into euros at the fixing rate quoted by the ECB at the closing date.

Velan erääntymisprofiili

Non-current financial liabilities in the graph above include a total of EUR 32.9 million in lease liabilities in accordance with IFRS 16.

15. BONDS INCLUDED IN BORROWINGS, €1,000 2019 2018
Currency Nominal value Maturity Interest Balance sheet value  
EUR 50,000 20 Sep 2020 floating rate 50,000 50,000
EUR 30,000 19 Sep 2022 floating rate 30,000 30,000
EUR 30,000 11 Sep 2023 2.71% 30,000 30,000
EUR 300,000 3 Apr 2024 3.50% 299,359 299,222
EUR 100,000 23 Nov 2027 1.125% 99,424 99,355
EUR 25,000 27 Mar 2028 2.71% 25,000 25,000
EUR 10,000 12 Sep 2028 3.27% 10,000 10,000
EUR 80,000 24 Apr 2029 2.95% 80,000 80,000
EUR 30,000 30 May 2029 2.89% 30,000 30,000
        653,783 653,577
           
NOK 200,000 12 Nov 2019 5.37%   20,104
NOK 100,000 16 Sep 2025 4.31% 10,138 10,052
        10,138 30,156
           
Bonds, long-term total   613,921 663,629
Bonds, short-term total   50,000 20,104
Total       663,921 683,733

The company defines net debt as the difference between cash in hand, and the financial assets recognized in the income statement at fair value and borrowings as shown in the balance sheet. The development of net debt is actively monitored. 

16. RECONCILIATION OF DEBT, €1,000
  Borrowings due within 1 year Borrowings due after 1 year Total
Debt on 1 Jan 2018 269,304 813,404 1,082,707
Cash flow from financing activities -28,816   -28,816
Exchange rate adjustments 2,108 3,399 5,506
Other changes not involving a payment transaction   201 201
Transfer to short-term loans 45,496 -45,496  
Debt on 31 Dec 2018 288,091 771,508 1,059,598
Cash flow from financing activities -126,396 150,000 23,604
Exchange rate adjustments 3,621 292 3,913
Other changes not involving a payment transaction 2,371 30,515 32,886
Transfer to short-term loans 67,662 -67,662  
Debt on 31 Dec 2019 235,349 884,652 1,120,001
 
Other changes are mainly made up of IFRS 16 impacts.      
Reconciliation of net debt, € 1,000   2019 2018
Cash in hand and cash equivalents   15,626 13,922
Financial assets recognised in the income statement at fair value   67,188 71,380
Borrowings - repayable within one year   235,349 288,091
Borrowings - repayable after one year   884,652 771,508
Net debt   1,037,186 974,297

Financial assets recognised at fair value through profit and loss are liquid investments traded on active markets.
At the end of the year, the company’s borrowings included a total of EUR 32.9 million in lease liabilities in accordance with IFRS 16, consisting of EUR 2.4 million in short-term liabilities, to be paid within a year, and EUR 30.5 million in long-term liabilities, with a maturity date after more than a year.

Pääomat ja nettovelkaantuminen

Interest income and costs on loans and other receivables are as follows:

17. INTEREST INCOME AND EXPENSES FROM LOANS AND OTHER RECEIVABLES, €1,000 2019 2018
Interest income on financial assets in income statement at fair value 466 46
Interest income on cash, cash equivalents and bank deposits 2 124
  468 170
     
Interest expenses on borrowings -19,985 -20,898
Net interest expenses on interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives 5,926 4,553
Gains from measuring derivative contracts at fair value 5,405 2,790
Losses from measuring derivative contracts at fair value -1,007 -1,917
Net foreign exchange gains and losses from borrowings,  derivatives and FX-accounts -351 -59
Interest expenses on lease liabilities (IFRS 16) -683  
Other finance costs -882 -895
  -11,577 -16,426
     
Capitalised finance costs, borrowing costs;       
at a capitalisation rate of 1.3 % (note 11) 1,016 1,042
Total -10,093 -15,213

Managing the market risks of debt

Fingrid’s debts are issued in both fixed and floating interest rates and in several currencies. They thus expose Fingrid’s cash flow to interest rate and exchange rate risks. Fingrid uses derivative contracts to hedge against these risks. Fingrid generally holds issued bonds to maturity and thus does not value its bonds in the balance sheet at fair value or hedge against the fair value interest rate risk. The permitted hedging instruments are defined in the Treasury policy and are chosen in order to achieve the most effective hedging possible for the risks in question.

The functional currency of the company is euro. Generally, currency risks and the foreign exchange interest rate risk are fully hedged. A risk that amounts to less than EUR 5 million when realised can be left unhedged for reasons of cost-effectiveness.

Transaction risk

Lainat alkuperäisessä valuutassa

The company issues bonds in the international and domestic money and debt capital markets. The company’s debt portfolio is spread across euro-denominated and non-euro-denominated currencies. The total foreign-currency-denominated debt portfolio and the related interest rate flows are hedged against the currency risk. The currency risk for each bond is always fully hedged in conjunction with its issuance. The company uses interest rate and cross currency swaps to hedge the exchange rate and interest risk of bonds.

Business-related currency risks are small and they are mainly hedged. During the financial year, the company used foreign exchange forwards to hedge business transaction risks. A summary of the derivatives is presented in Note 23. 

Rahoituskulut

The graph ‘Financial costs 2015–2019’ does not include IFRS 16 interest expenses.

Interest rate risk

The company is only exposed to euro denominated interest rate risk from its business operations, assets and borrowings. The company’s borrowings are, both in terms of principal and interest payments, fully hedged against exchange rate risks. Cash and cash equivalents and financial assets recognised in the income statement at fair value are denominated in euros. 

Interest rate risk management includes optimisation of future interest rate risk of business operations (risk-free interest in the WACC model described in the next infobox) emerging from the regulatory model specified by the Energy Authority, together with company’s net debt interest rate risk.

The interest rate risk from business operations can in part or in its entirety be hedged in terms of the adjusted capital committed to grid operations. The Board of Directors makes a separate decision on the hedging of operational interest rate risks. The interest rate risk included in business operations was not hedged in 2019. The interest rate risk inherent in Fingrid’s business operations is caused by changes in the risk-free interest in the WACC model. If the risk-free interest rate rises/falls by one percentage unit, the post-tax WACC rises/falls by 0.9%.

The objective of managing the interest rate risk on the loan portfolio is to minimise interest costs in the long term. The aim is to keep the average interest rate period of the gross interest exposure for the loan portfolio (derivatives and liabilities) at around twelve (12) months. The loan portfolio’s interest rate risk arises from market interest rate volatility, which decreases or increases the annual interest expenses on the company’s floating-rate loans. When market interest rates increase/decrease, the interest expenses of the floating-rate loans also increase/decrease. The company hedges this so-called cash flow risk with derivatives. The sensitivity of the loan portfolio to interest rate risk is measured by using a Cash Flow at Risk (CFaR) type of model, more specifically the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model. The key parameters of the model are the 3-month and 6-month Euribor rates, of which the historical time series serve as a basis for a forward-looking simulation of the probable future interest expenses for Fingrid’s loan portfolio. The exposure on which the sensitivity analysis is calculated includes all of the Group’s interest-bearing borrowings, the loan portfolio’s derivatives and interest-rate options purchased to hedge against unexpected changes in interest rates. According to the model, there is a 95% (99%) probability that Fingrid’s interest expenses will amount to no more than EUR 17.1 (18.0) million during the next 12 months.


 Determination of the reasonable rate of return in regulation and operational interest rate risk

The reasonable rate of return on adjusted capital committed to grid operations is determined by using the weighted average cost of capital model (WACC). The WACC model determined by the Finnish Energy Authority illustrates the average cost of the capital used by the company, where the weights are the relative values of equity and debt. The weighted average of the costs of equity and interest-bearing debt are used to calculate the total cost of capital, i.e. the reasonable rate of return per the regulation. The reasonable return is calculated by multiplying the adjusted capital invested in network operations by the WACC.

WACC post-tax = reasonable rate of return after corporate tax
CE = reasonable cost of equity
CD = reasonable cost of interest-bearing debt
E = adjusted equity invested in network operations
D = adjusted interest-bearing debt invested in network operations
ctr = current rate of corporate tax

 

Rr = risk-free interest rate
DP = risk premium of debt

 

Rr = risk-free interest rate
β levered = levered beta
Rm = average market return
Rm – Rr = market risk premium
LP = liquidity premium

The above-mentioned reasonable rate of return after taxes is then adjusted with the current rate of corporate tax.  This calculation gives the reasonable pre-tax rate of return.

WACC pre-tax = reasonable rate of return before corporate tax

A fixed capital structure is applied to the TSO, whereby the weight of debt capital is 50% and the weight of equity capital is 50%. The pre-tax reasonable rate of return is calculated as follows:

Rk, pre-tax  = pre-tax reasonable return, EUR
WACC pre-tax = reasonable rate of return, %
E = adjusted equity invested in network operations, EUR
D = adjusted interest-bearing debt invested in network operations, EUR
E + D =  adjusted capital invested in network operations, EUR


wacc taulukko

Liquidity risk

Fingrid is exposed to liquidity and refinancing risks arising from the redemption of loans, payments and fluctuations in cash flow from operating activities. The liquidity of the company must be arranged so that liquid assets (cash and cash equivalents, and financial assets recognised in the income statement at fair value) and available long-term committed credit lines can cover 110% of the refinancing needs for the next 12 months.  

The company has a revolving credit facility agreement of EUR 300 million signed on 11 December 2015. The maturity of the facility is five years. In addition to this, the company has two one-year extension options, of which both have been used. These extended the maturity of the revolving credit facility until 11 December 2022. The facility is committed and has not been drawn. The company additionally has uncommitted overdraft facilities totaling EUR 50 million.

The refinancing risk is managed by building an even maturity profile such that the share of long-term loans in a single year constitutes less than 30 per cent of the total debt and the average maturity of the company’s loan portfolio is at least three years. To secure refinancing, the company makes wide use of diverse sources of financing. The high credit rating and good bank and investor relations enable ready access to the debt capital market and thus minimises the company’s debt refinancing risks and financing costs. The counterparty risks of financing activities are caused by counterparties related to investing (e.g. money market funds), derivatives counterparties and bank counterparties. The company minimises any counterparty risks. As a rule, credit rating categories are the decisive factor in specifying the counterparty limit.

Contractual repayments and interest costs on borrowings are presented in the next table. The interest rates on floating-rate loans are defined using the zero coupon curve. The repayments and interest amounts are undiscounted values. Finance costs arising from interest rate swaps are often paid in net amounts depending on the nature of the swap. In the following table, they are presented in gross amounts.

18. PAYMENTS UNDER FINANCING AGREEMENTS IN CASH, €1000
                 
31.12.2019   2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025- Total
Bonds  -repayments 50,000   30,000 30,000 299,359 254,562 663,921
  -interests 17,124 17,106 17,125 17,106 16,293 23,962 108,716
Loans from financial institutions  -repayments 17,662 17,662 17,662 33,047 34,660 137,185 257,879
  -interests 2,095 1,690 1,393 1,237 1,041 4,900 12,356
Commercial papers  -repayments 165,000           165,000
Lease liabilities -repayments 2,371 2,311 2,192 2,199 2,228 21,584 32,886
  -interests 642 600 557 513 469 2,159 4,938
Currency swaps -payments  25 32 48 67 79 12,603 12,855
Interest rate swaps -payments  72 95 144 203 71 427 1,012
Forward contracts -payments  12,597 300 1,000 1,500 900   16,297
Total   267,589 39,797 70,121 85,872 355,100 457,382 1,275,860
Currency swaps -receivables  437 437 437 437 437 10,575 12,760
Interest rate swaps -receivables  5,281 5,205 4,915 4,094 3,025 2,580 25,101
Forward contracts -receivables  12,173 296 992 1,505 909   15,874
Total   17,891 5,937 6,344 6,036 4,371 13,155 53,735
Total   249,698 33,860 63,777 79,836 350,728 444,227 1,222,126
                 
31 Dec 2018   2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024- Total
Bonds  -repayments 20,104 50,000   30,000 30,000 553,629 683,733
  -interests 18,377 17,222 17,234 17,293 17,102 40,247 127,475
Loans from financial institutions  -repayments 21,662 17,662 17,662 17,662 17,662 37,229 129,541
  -interests 2,486 2,088 1,820 1,562 1,216 1,311 10,483
Commercial papers  -repayments 245,000           245,000
Overdraft -payments  938           938
Currency swaps -payments  23,891 49 77 115 152 12,922 37,205
Interest rate swaps -payments  924 328 658 1,102 1,555 7,771 12,338
Forward contracts -payments  198 350 300 1,000 1,500 900 4,248
Total   333,579 87,699 37,751 68,734 69,188 654,009 1,250,961
Currency swaps -receivables  21,617 433 433 433 433 10,918 34,268
Interest rate swaps -receivables  5,152 5,082 4,810 4,448 3,601 7,689 30,784
Forward contracts -receivables  196 351 301 1,011 1,533 926 4,318
Total   26,965 5,867 5,544 5,893 5,568 19,534 69,370
Total   306,614 81,833 32,206 62,841 63,621 634,475 1,181,591
           

 Accounting principles

Borrowings

Borrowings are initially recognised at fair value net of the transaction costs incurred. Transaction costs consist of bond prices above or below par value, arrangement fees, commissions and administrative fees that are directly related to the loan. Borrowings are subsequently measured at amortised cost; any difference between the loan amount and the amount to be repaid is recognised in the income statement over the loan period using the effective interest rate method. Borrowings are derecognised when they mature and are repaid.

Commitment fees to be paid on credit facilities are entered as transaction costs related to the loan insofar as partial or full utilisation of the facility is likely. In such cases, the fee is capitalized in the balance sheet until the facility is utilised. If there is no proof that loans included in a facility are likely to be drawn in part or in full, the fee will be recognised as an upfront payment for liquidity services and amortized over the maturity of the facility in question.