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IFC, Nippon Life to support Women-owned Enterprises and Inclusive Businesses through IFC Social Bond Program

Washington, D.C./Tokyo, July 25, 2017 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, issued a $100 million Social Bond placed exclusively with Nippon Life Insurance Company (“Nippon Life”). The ten-year bond marks the first issuance in a private placement format under IFC’s Social Bond Program, creating a new channel for investors to support the growth of the program.
IFC will use the bond proceeds to finance projects in developing countries that help improve social outcomes for targeted populations such as small scale farmers, low-income households, women entrepreneurs etc. IFC’s financing enables companies to offer affordable health services, education, housing and other essential services to low-income people. The funds will also be used to support financial institutions that lend to women-owned enterprises.
“IFC is very proud to collaborate with Nippon Life on the further development of IFC’s Social Bond Program and offer a tailor-made transaction which offers exposure to a new impact-investment product,” said Benjamin Powell, IFC’s Head of Funding. “Thanks to the commitment from Nippon Life we now have a platform to build out the program in a variety of markets, including benchmarks, private placements and retail.”
IFC established the Social Bond Program earlier this year to meet growing ESG awareness and investment demands by merging two existing socially responsible bond products—the Banking on Women Bond Program and the Inclusive Business Bond Program—which had raised $268 million and $296 million respectively since 2013.
The IFC Social Bond Program is augmented by an annual impact report providing investors with detailed information on the underlying projects supported by the bonds. The program is aligned with the Social Bond Principles—a framework for the issuance and review of Social Bonds. IFC has played a leadership role in developing ESG bond markets as an active member of the Green and Social Bond Principles governing body.
“Nippon Life promotes ‘investment into new and emerging growth fields’ in its Mid-term Management Plan, and especially, investing in the ESG field matches our Fundamental Management Principles. We will strive to fulfill our social responsibilities by investing in the ESG field. I am pleased to contribute through this investment to supporting low-income people who lack access to basic goods and services and women-owned small and medium enterprises in emerging markets. Understanding the mission of the life insurance business and its public nature, Nippon Life will continue to seek investments which will satisfy its policyholders,” said Hiroshi Ozeki, CIO, Nippon Life.
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB) is the sole arranger of the bond.
“The Social Bond market has grown at a steady pace. I expect that the recent adoption of Social Bond Principles will further win over a broad array of institutional, public and private investors, and Crédit Agricole CIB deeply believe that Asian investors will play a key role in this development,” said Tanguy Claquin, Head of Sustainable Banking, CACIB. “The commitment of Nippon Life is a great step forward and a significant event for the development of this market.”
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY16, we delivered a record $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
About Nippon Life
Nippon Life is Japan’s leading private life insurer with total assets of US$577.7 billion and 28.8 million policies in Japan. It has a mission to faithfully uphold its promise to customers over the long term and a mission to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society by investing the insurance premiums it receives from customers. It will carry out these missions through our business activities, aiming to contribute stability and enhancement to people’s lives. For more information, please visit its website at http://www.nissay.co.jp/english/ .
About CACIB
Crédit Agricole CIB is the Corporate and Investment Banking arm of the Crédit Agricole Group, the world’s n°13 bank measured by Tier One Capital (The Banker, July 2017). The Bank offers its clients a comprehensive range of products and services in capital markets, investment banking, structured finance and corporate banking. The Bank provides support to clients in large international markets through its network with a presence in major countries in Europe, America, Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa. For more information, please visit its website at www.ca-cib.com .
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