UPDATE 1-Italy plans to top up first green BTP bond after strong demand

(Recasts, adds debt chief comments)

ROME, March 4 (Reuters) - Italy plans to top up its first green BTP bond after it drew robust interest from investors, the Treasury’s debt chief Davide Iacovoni told Reuters on Thursday.

The Treasury raised 8.5 billion euros ($10.2 billion) from the bond on Wednesday after receiving orders in excess of 80 billion euros on the back of the growing appeal of environmentally-friendly assets.

Foreign investors bought 73.7% of the bond, with more than 53% snapped up by funds. “The bond has entered the portfolios of fund managers who are already specialised in sustainable investments,” Iacovoni said.

Investors with a long-term horizon bought 24.3% of the issuance, while hedge funds took 3.6%. British investors accounted for 22.1% of the offer, in which around 530 investors took part.

The rest of the issue was placed mainly with investors from continental Europe. Those in Germany, Austria and Switzerland took 19.9%, France 10.1%, the Iberian Peninsula 7.3%, and Nordic countries 5.1%.

Investors from the Middle East bought 1.7% of the issue, those from North America around 1.9%, while those from Asia received 0.5%.

Iacovoni said no decision had been taken yet on whether the green bond would be topped up through another syndicated issue or via an auction.

He said Italy planned to have a long-term presence in the green government debt market, but would not be drawn on the timing of a new issuance.

He said it was also premature to say if the Treasury would issue a BTP green bond for retail investors.

“There’s a discussion underway, we need to assess whether there’s real interest among retail investors for this kind of bond,” he said. “We can’t rule it out.” ($1 = 0.8350 euros) (Reporting by Antonella Cinelli and Stefano Bernabei, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Gavin Jones and Sonya Hepinstall)