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COVID-19 Market Updates: Sustainable finance
27 April 2020: EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance publishes statement on sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic

The EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), established to advise the European Commission on implementation of the Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth, believes the Sustainable Taxonomy, EU Green Bond Standard, and Paris-Aligned and Climate Transition Benchmarks, can guide public and private sector plans for recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, including the European Council’s recently announced “Roadmap to Recovery” which, among other,  aims to combine the recovery from the current crisis with the EU’s Green Deal and green transition.

22 April 2020: ICMA Podcast - IFFIm’s Vaccine Bonds – raising funds to vaccinate children in the world’s poorest countries

Cyrus Ardalan, Former Chairman of ICMA, Chairman of Citigroup Global Markets and Chairman of Oaknorth Bank, discusses the work of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), which he also chairs, in raising funding for Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation. Gavi is a major force in vaccinating children in the world’s poorest countries. IFFIm’s Vaccine Bonds (which are aligned with ICMA’s Social Bond Principles) provide investors with a unique opportunity to realise both a secure rate of return and diversify their portfolios while helping save young lives. IFFIm has been instrumental in providing Gavi with funding which has helped to vaccinate more than 760 million children in the 2000–2019 period.

15 April 2020: World Bank raises record-breaking USD8 billion from global investors to support its Member Countries

The World Bank issued the largest ever US dollar denominated bond issued by a supranational and the largest single green, social or sustainable bond to date to help countries address the impacts of the Covid-19. The bond is aligned with the Sustainability Bond Guidelines.

2 April 2020: Council of Europe Development Bank issues EUR1 billion 7-year COVID-19 Response Social Inclusion Bond

The funding will be used to support CEB member countries in mitigating the social and economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 Response Bond is issued within the CEB Social Inclusion Bond framework, which is being adapted so that financing can be extended to the health sector, where countries have increased needs because of the pandemic. In line with the Social Inclusion Bond framework, the proceeds raised will also finance new or existing social projects which support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in order to create and preserve jobs.

2 April 2020: ICMA Podcast - Social Bonds on the rise

Social bonds are gaining traction with market participants and are especially relevant in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. Simone Utermarck, Director, Sustainable Finance, ICMA speaks to Denise Odaro, Head of Investor Relations, the International Finance Corporation about key features of social bonds and the Social Bond Principles, next steps in this area and the applicability of social bonds in addressing socioeconomic issues including those arising from COVID-19. 

1 April 2020: European Investment Bank launches SEK 3bn 3-year Sustainability Awareness Bond (SAB) to combat Covid-19

In response to the pandemic, EIB has recently announced a package of measures in support of European companies, health interventions, and the economy as a whole. The package foresees a rapid mobilisation of up to EUR 40 billion in partnership with the Member States, the European Commission and other financial partners. The proceeds from the issuance are earmarked for EIB’s lending activities contributing to sustainability objectives, including Universal Access to Affordable Health Services (SDG 3). Also, SAB-eligibilities are under extension to other financing areas directly related to fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

31 March 2020: GBP SBP Executive Committee and ICMA underlines relevance of Social Bonds in addressing COVID-19 crisis and provide additional guidance

The Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles, the Social Bond Principles and the Sustainability Bond Guidelines (the Principles), supported by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), underline that existing guidance for Social and Sustainability Bonds is immediately applicable to efforts addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Additional advice for issuers in the form of new Q&A and case studies has been provided.

Social Bonds finance projects that directly aim to address or mitigate a specific social issue and/or seek to achieve positive social outcomes directed towards a specified target population. Sustainability bonds finance both green and social projects. The global COVID-19 outbreak is a social issue that threatens the well-being of the world’s population, especially the elderly and those with underlying health problems. In addition, millions of people around the world are suffering, or will be suffering, from the resulting economic downturn.

Illustrative examples for eligible social projects can include COVID-19 related-healthcare and medical research and development of vaccine, investment into additional medical equipment, or manufacturing facilities to produce more health and safety equipment and hygiene supplies, and specific projects designed to alleviate unemployment generated by the crisis. These should especially target specific groups directly impacted by the virus outbreak, although they may also seek to support a wider population affected by the economic crisis.

31 March 2020: IFC Illustrative Use-of-Proceeds Case Studies for the Coronavirus

IFC has made available for market information purposes a new publication “Illustrative Use-of-Proceeds Case Studies: Coronavirus”.

27 March 2020: African Development Bank launches largest social bond issuance to date against Coronavirus

AfDB launched on 27 March 2020 a USD3 billion 3-year “Fight Covid-19 Social Bond” to help alleviate the economic and social impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.

11 March 2020: IFC issues USD1 billion Social Bond

IFC issued a USD1 billion 3-year social bond that aims to support the private sector and jobs in developing countries affected by COVID-19 outbreak. The issuance follows IFC’s approval of a total of USD8 billion to help sustain economies and protect job in developing countries against the global outbreak of COVID-19.