The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on April 22 announced the launch of back-to-back gender bonds denominated in Canadian dollars and Australian dollars to demonstrate its commitment to gender equality.
The transactions consist of a seven-year C$750 million (US$596 million) offering in the maple bond market, which was priced at 99.393% with a coupon of 1.50% payable semi-annually to offer a yield of 39.3bp over the Canadian government bond due on June 1 2028. The deal was arranged by CIBC Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities acting as joint lead managers.
The other deal was a 4-1/2-year A$700 million (US$542 million) kangaroo bond, which was priced at 99.859% with a coupon of 0.80% payable semi-annually to offer a yield of 21.95bp above the Australian government bond due on November 21 2025. Nomura, RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities were the joint lead managers for this issuance.
“We are thrilled with the strong reception to ADB’s first issuance of gender bonds in both the maple and kangaroo bond markets, which will help support ADB projects that promote gender equality and women’s leadership,” says ADB treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. “These efforts are even more imperative as we recognize that women and girls are among the groups most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Accelerating progress in gender equality in Asia and the Pacific is one of seven operational priorities in ADB’s Strategy 2030. ADB says it recognizes that gender equality is critical in its own right as well as for its role in socio-economic development. It is imperative that ADB effectively contributes to the efforts of accelerating gender equality outcomes in the region in five areas: economic empowerment, human development, decision-making and leadership, time poverty reduction and resilience to external shocks.
ADB is committed to proactively supporting gender equality through gender-inclusive project designs in at least 75% of its operations by 2030. The bank has issued more than US$3.6 billion in thematic bonds across various themes, including gender, health and education in response to investor demand to support environment, social and governance (ESG) goals. ADB is a frequent borrower in the capital markets and plans to raise around US$34 billion to US$36 billion in 2021.