The first in a series of World Bank bonds to promote sustainable water use and ocean protection has been priced at SEK1bn ($77m), the World Bank announced late last week.
The seven-year bond is the first in a new series of Sustainable Development Bonds that aim to raise at least $3bn to address sanitation, water scarcity, and marine protection issues.
It is part of the Bank’s programme to engage investors in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is targeted specifically at SDG6 and SDG14, which promote access to clean water and sanitation and increased protection for ocean wildlife.
Arunma Oteh, vice president of the World Bank, said the swift pricing of the bond demonstrates growing investor interest in the SDGs.
“We are very pleased to price this SEK-denominated Sustainable Development Bond, so soon after we announced our new initiative,” she said. “The demand for this bond shows that investors are aware of the critical need to protect water, our most precious resource, and to ensure a sustainable future.”
The focus on water issues had attracted new investors to its bonds, the World Bank added.
Swedish investor SEB, the lead manager for the transaction, echoed Oteh’s comments, adding the decision to launch a water-focused bond series was “very much welcomed” by investors. “We see increased interest from our investors to understand risks around water management and the need to protect oceans,” said Christopher Flensborg, head of climate and sustainable finance at SEB. “Engaging with the World Bank and others around this topic is extremely helpful.”
The World Bank is already the world’s largest multilateral source of financing for water in developing countries, with $37bn in water-related investments.
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