African Development Bank Amasses Global Award for its $3 Billion denominated Fight for the Novel Coronavirus Bond
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– The African Development Bank (AfDB) was appointed in a survey of bond market performers as the best issuer in 2020 of a COVID-19 bond for its $3 billion dollar denominated Fight of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) social bond published on March 27, 2020.
The winners of the Global Capital Bond Awards 2020, were declared openly on September 30th, 2020 at a liturgy kept virtually for the first time in 12 years. Global Capital is a prominent source of information on global capital markets with coverage of all market segments.
“We are grateful for the market’s recognition of the Bank’s effort in responding quickly to the needs of the continent with its Fight COVID-19 Social Bond which is an important instrument in alleviating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African economies and lives. Thanks to the very strong support received by investors, we were able to provide an efficient response at a very challenging time while also catering to the needs of socially responsible investors looking for impactful investments,” affirmed Ms. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala – the Bank’s Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer.
The Fight COVID-19 bond, meandered on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and considerably oversubscribed, was the world’s largest social bond at time of issuance. The Bank has since listed the bond on both the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Bond proceeds, with a three-year maturity, will go to ameliorate the impact of the pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.
“The primary debt capital markets’ response to the coronavirus crisis has been resilient and robust. Institutions all over the world from governments and multilateral development banks, to domestic lenders, to companies have raised vital financing to see them through this extraordinary period,” Global Capital noted in its winners’ announcement release.
The bond issue is part of a suite of interventions the Bank has rolled out to bolster African countries responses to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a COVID-19 Response Facility of up to $10 billion to provide flexible and emergency assistance to the Bank’s members to shore up their national budget, economies and livelihoods of their citizens.
“The African Development Bank is proud of the success of its landmark “Fight COVID-19 Social Bond”, launched to help alleviate the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives and livelihood. This transaction, the largest social bond at the time of issuance, reflects investors’ confidence in the Bank’s Social Bond framework, and its capacity to deliver. We were among the pioneers in the Social Bond market, and would like to thank all our partners, including the arrangers and investors, for their continued trust and support and share this award and success with them,” Hassatou N’Sele – Treasurer of the Bank stated.
The Bank is a well-known homesteader in the social bond sphere. In March 2020, it received the Environmental Finance’s 2020 bond of the year award—SSA category— for a successful one billion Norwegian krone (NOK) social bond issued in 2019. It was the first social bond ever launched in the Norwegian market, and the Bank’s first transaction in Norwegian Krone. In 2018, the Bank was recognized as “Second most impressive social or sustainability bond issuer” at the Global Capital Socially Responsible Investments Awards. Since 2017, the Bank has launched nearly $5 billion worth of such instruments denominated in US dollars, euros and Norwegian krone.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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