10 Mar 2021 13:00

Nordic investors support World Bank in raising awareness for gender equality

SEB acted as lead manager when The World Bank raised the equivalent of $440 million in Sustainable Development Bonds denominated in Norwegian kroner and Swedish kronor. The World Bank launched the bonds while raising awareness for the World Bank’s strategy, projects and programs that focus on gender equality and health, highlighting how Covid-19 disproportionately impacts women.

“We thank investors for their ongoing support for the World Bank and their continued focus on gender equality and the health and well-being of women, particularly as the pandemic threatens to widen gaps and reverse development gains made over the past decades,” says Jingdong Hua, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.

“Ever since we developed the Green Bond concept with the World Bank in 2007/2008, we have worked together on a large number of transactions within the sustainability area,” says Christopher Flensborg, Head of Climate and Sustainable Finance, SEB. “Gender equality and health are highly important topics for SEB, and we are very proud to work with the World Bank on this initiative.”

Investors in the bonds included the Church of Sweden, Cliens Kapitalförvaltning, the Folksam Group, Handelsbanken Asset Management, Nordea Asset Management, SpareBank 1 SMN, SpareBank 1 SR-Bank, SEB Företagsobligationsfond Hållbar, SPP/Storebrand, Swedbank Robur, and Telia Company.

The World Bank saw a very positive reception from investors for its offering, according to Karl-Johan Nystedt, Head of Public Sector & SSA Origination, Debt Capital Markets, at SEB. That’s despite the fact that the Swedish krona market has been difficult for SSA issuers to navigate in 2021 on the back of quantitative easing pushing credit spreads historically tight and with rates volatility being high recently.

“We were very pleased to see the solid reception by high-quality Swedish investors for this offering, which is a testament to the strength and trust in the World Bank’s commitment to this purpose,” says Karl-Johan Nystedt. “The Norwegian krone market has offered SSA issuers good conditions for funding in 2021 as there is significant liquidity in the system as well as a net negative supply of government securities. This NOK offering was no exception.”

Read more here: World Bank Launches Sustainable Development Bonds in Scandinavian Currencies While Raising Awareness for Gender Equality and Health