Biz & Corporate

AfDB  issues first social bond

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU 

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched and priced US$2 billion three-year social global benchmark due February 25, 2027.

This is the first social bond issued under its new sustainable bond framework established in September 2023.

It is the bank’s first global benchmark of the year, strategically aligning with the robust reopening of primary markets in January 2024, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

“This issuance is a significant highlight amid a dynamic week in the US$ SSA markets, witnessing the launch of eight benchmarks totalling US$17.25 billion within a span of two days.

“With this transaction, the African Development Bank continues to carry out its funding strategy of issuing large liquid benchmark transactions and adds another on-the-run reference in the three-year maturity,” the bank stated.

It indicated that it was able to successfully secure the tightest pricing among Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) both versus swaps and United States Treasuries.

The AfDB’s mandate for a three-year US$ Global Benchmark was announced on Wednesday January, 17, taking advantage of favourable market conditions and a strong primary market backdrop.

The issuance received strong support from the global investor community, with an order book in excess of US$ 3.5 billion and attracted high-quality investors, including central banks, official institutions, and bank treasuries, constituting 78 percent of the book.

Distribution was well diversified across geographies and investor profiles, with 76 orders in the book. The social label garnered interest from ESG investors, representing 38 percent of participants in the book.

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