Sydney, Australia, 13 November 2018 — The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) today announced it is partnering with Westpac Banking Corporation and BNP Paribas to launch the first Sustainable Growth Bonds for Australian investors. The Bonds offer Australian investors a unique opportunity to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will be offered exclusively to clients of the Westpac Group through Westpac Private Bank, St George Private and Bank of Melbourne Private. The partnership underscores Westpac’s support of the United Nations SDGs.
All World Bank bonds support its development lending activities that aim to end poverty and create opportunity, and are aligned with the SDGs. The Bonds provide an opportunity for investors to put their capital towards projects that advance these global development priorities.
In addition, the Bonds’ returns are linked to an index that tracks the stock performance of companies advancing global development priorities set out in the SDGs, including climate, gender equality, health, education and sustainable infrastructure, as measured by the Solactive Sustainable Development Goals World MV Index. The index includes 30 companies, based on the methodology developed by Vigeo Eiris, a global provider of environmental, social and governance research. Each company must dedicate at least one fifth of its activities to sustainable products or be recognized leaders in their industries on socially and environmentally sustainable issues.
In the initial instance, the Bonds will be issued in Australian dollars with a minimum investment amount of AUD 100,000 and arranged by BNP Paribas as part of the “SDGs Everyone” initiative. Under the initiative, the World Bank issues bonds that raise funding to support the financing of projects that support the SDGs, and investors benefit from the performance of companies included in the equity index. The World Bank has issued in excess of US$ 1.5bn in bonds under the initiative for institutional and retail investors.
The World Bank has issuer credit ratings of Aaa (Moody’s) / AAA (S&P) and will be providing capital protection at bond maturity.
About the World Bank
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization. Created in 1944, it is the original member of the World Bank Group and operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. The World Bank provides financing, expertise and coordination services to its member countries to support the Sustainable Development Goals and to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It also provides leadership to coordinate regional and global solutions and responses to development challenges.
Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer said: “We need to fundamentally rethink development finance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Thanks to our partnership with Westpac Group and BNP Paribas, we are able to offer Australian private investors an attractive risk-reward opportunity that also demonstrates the powerful role of capital markets in connecting savings with development priorities. We hope to continue expanding these offerings for investors and markets across the globe.”
George Toubia (Chief Investment Director) Westpac Private Bank, St.George Private Clients, Bank of Melbourne Private said: “We are proud to partner with the World Bank to offer this unique investment opportunity to our private wealth clients to support projects aimed at creating both true positive impact and long-term value for global communities. We support sustainable principles to achieve better social outcomes and believe we all have a collective responsibility towards advancing the SDGs in both developed and developing economies. These goals require active participation, not only from companies, but also private investors. We think these bonds will appeal to a wide range of investors including high net worth individuals, corporates, family offices, not-for-profits and charity clients.”
Olivier Osty, Executive Head of Global Markets, BNP Paribas, said: “We are pleased to work with the World Bank and the Westpac Group for this inaugural issue as the World Bank extends its cooperation with private investors. Now, more than ever, there is growing urgency to put private sector capital to work in development projects if we are to make progress towards achieving the SDGs. Sustainability is fundamental to our strategy at BNP Paribas so we are pleased to play a part in this.”
Media release (PDF)