World’s first sovereign Blue Bond launched

Singapore. Standard Chartered PLC “The Group”, in partnership with the World Bank, has launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond, by the Republic of Seychelles.

The bond raised US$15 million from international investors, which will help expand and protect marine areas, improve governance of priority fisheries and develop the Seychelles’ blue economy.
The World Bank assisted in developing the blue bond and reaching out to the three investors: Calvert Impact Capital, Nuveen, and Prudential. Standard Chartered acted as placement agent for the bond.

Speaking about the landmark placement, Simon Cooper, Chief Executive, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking at Standard Chartered, said: “The world’s first sovereign blue bond is a landmark transaction and one in which Standard Chartered is proud to have played a role, in partnership with the World Bank and the Republic of Seychelles. Finding innovative ways to mobilise capital to tackle development issues is a priority for us.”

“The Seychelles blue bond will help protect the health of our oceans while developing a blue economy and serves as a powerful example for other countries, highlighting that finance can play a role as an important force for good,” added Daniel Hanna, Global Head of Sustainable Finance and Global Head of Public Sector & Development Organisations, Standard Chartered.

“We congratulate the Seychelles for this pioneering blue bond. We are delighted to have supported this important transaction, achieved in close partnership with the investors and other development partners. We hope that this bond will pave the way for others – much like the World Bank’s first green bond catalysed the green bond market 10 years ago. The blue bond is yet another example of the powerful role of capital markets in connecting investors to projects that support better stewardship of the planet,” said Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.

The Seychelles blue bond is partially guaranteed by a US$5 million guarantee from the World Bank and further supported by a US$5 million concessional loan from the Global Environment Facility, which will partially cover interest payments for the bond.

Proceeds from the bond will also contribute to the World Bank’s South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Program, which supports countries in the region to sustainably manage their fisheries resources and increase economic benefits from their fisheries sectors.

The launch comes soon after the Group created a new Sustainable Finance team to focus on emerging market sustainable financing and to lead all its business activities in the area. This also follows recent announcements to cease financing new coal fired power plants, explore its role in promoting greater disclosure on emissions and set new science-based emissions targets.

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