World Bank to raise €1.5bn for SDG bond

The World Bank had raised €1.5bn for a new 10-year bond focused on mobilising action towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

World Bank to raise €1.5bn for SDG bond

Since the unveiling of the framework in 2015

The 10-year Global Sustainable Development Bond will be listed on the Euronext Dublin exchange and the Luxemburg Stock Exchange. Companies including J.P. Morgan and Barclays have been named as the lead managers for the bond and transaction.

The World Bank has claimed that the bond was oversubscribed, with almost 70 investors placing orders reaching €2bn.

The bond was launched to coincide with a Dublin-based workshop, which saw bond issuers and investors discuss financial action towards the SDGs. SDG-aligned businesses generated around $233bn in revenues in 2017, highlighting the economic opportunity of embracing the Global Goals.

Commenting on the launch of the bond, Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said: “We welcome the World Bank’s new sustainable development bond to raise awareness for SDGs that are aligned with our priority areas of prioritising gender equality, reducing humanitarian need, climate action, and strengthening governance.”

The World Bank issued its first ever set of green bonds that directly link financial returns to companies performing to the SDGs in 2017. Since then, similar bonds have been launched by the Bank covering energy storage and water stewardship.

More recently, Donald Trump’s choice to run the World Bank, David Malpass, has moved swiftly to allay fears that his appointment will lead to a softening of the organisation’s approach to climate change.

Economic opportunity

Since the unveiling of the framework in 2015, 193 countries, 9000 companies and investors with more than $4 trillion in assets have pledged their support to the SDGs.

But as more and more businesses move to align with all or some of the Global Goals, recent research by KPMG found that companies are still struggling to achieve boardroom buy-in for action on the SDGs due to a lack of available metrics for tracking progress against their aims.

In other words, despite recent studies suggesting that as much as $12trn and 380 million jobs could be generated by 2030 if the SDGs are placed at the heart of global economic strategies.

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Matt Mace

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