The World Bank has announced a partnership with SEB and several key Scandinavian institutional investors to introduce a ‘World Bank green bond’ to raise funds for projects seeking to mitigate climate change or help affected people adapt to it. The bond issue is one example of the kind of innovation the World Bank is trying to encourage within its ‘Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change, launched earlier this year to help stimulate and coordinate public- and private-sector activity in this area. The offering is the first time both the World Bank and SEB have offered bonds to raise funds identified to a specific World Bank program.
“We are very pleased to partner with the World Bank for this green bond issue,” said Annika Falkengren, President and CEO, SEB. “With this issue we have been able to offer our clients a product through which they can accomplish three things: take a stand towards fighting global warming, support the World Bank and its members in their efforts to fight poverty, and secure a higher return than government securities by investing in the World Bank’s Aaa/AAA-rated bonds.”
“Tackling climate change is going to take immense resources that will only come from a well-orchestrated flow of public and private finance. This transaction is an important early effort to show one way in which this can be done. We hope it demonstrates that private citizens can safely and profitably invest their savings today while also helping provide a better world for their children,” said Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group.
The first World Bank green bonds are denominated in Swedish kronor (SEK) for a total amount of SEK2.325bn and have a maturity of six years. The interest rate payable annually is 0.25% above Swedish government bond rates. SEB is the sole lead manager and will offer the bonds to investors through its distribution network. The bonds responded to demand from a group of Scandinavian investors. Credit Suisse International is a senior co-manager and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg is a co-manager for the transaction.
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