BII and Symbiotics join forces to issue green bond

This innovative multi-currency green loan program aims to set a new standard in the market and contribute to the development of climate finance in Asia and Africa.

  • The green bond, in the form of a $75 million basket bond, will finance small businesses and green micro-projects through financial institutions specializing in financing SMEs in Africa and South and Southeast Asia.
  • In addition, British International Investment’s technical assistance mechanism will provide an additional amount of approximately $520,000, enabling these financial institutions to better support the growth of green businesses and projects.

British International Investment (“BII”), the UK’s development finance institution, has subscribed to a $75 million green basketball bond structured by Symbiotics, the leading access platform for market development and impact investing. The Green (Multi-Currency) Loans Program will channel funds through local financial institutions to green micro-projects in Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

This basket bond is the first of its kind to be issued in the BII markets and will cover the African continent, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. This program will leverage Symbiotics’ global network and BII’s 74 years of impact investing experience with the goal of supporting 10-15 financial institutions with smaller investment needs than the BII typically provides.

Loans provided under the program will fund green micro-projects such as rooftop solar panels, sustainable agriculture, energy-saving appliances including green stoves, buildings with improved energy efficiency, electric vehicles, etc.

The success of such a program will strengthen the green finance capacities of financial institutions in the target markets; It will raise capital to support green micro-projects in the same markets and provide a replicable structure for other investors looking to increase their contribution to climate finance in Asia and Africa.

To amplify the impact, the BII will provide an additional amount of approximately $520,000 through its technical assistance mechanism, administered by the Symbiotics Association for Sustainable Development (SASD). The technical assistance facility will help these financial institutions develop their green finance capacity by strengthening their ability to identify and manage green assets.

Jo Fry, Investment Director & Head of Intermediated Credit, UK International Investment, said: “We are delighted to partner with renowned impact investing manager Symbiotics on this groundbreaking programme. This investment will improve access to climate finance for small entrepreneurs developing green projects. It will also increase the ability of financial institutions to identify and manage “conditioners”. The aim of the BII is to enable other investors to replicate and invest in this innovative new financing structure. The program demonstrates the BII’s commitment to creating and developing new financing structures that can help address some of our market’s greatest challenges.”

Daniel Schriber, Head of Investments at Symbiotics, said, “Symbiotics is excited to partner with BII in structuring its first basketball bond. By adding the concept of green profits to our investments in emerging markets, we are expanding the impact of our financing and contributing to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This innovative product will also raise awareness of climate finance in emerging markets and help financial institutions to develop and better manage their range of green products.”

This Green Basket bond issue contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) #7 on clean and affordable energy and #13 on combating climate change.

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