Folksam Sole Investor in $350m World Bank SDG Bond

Stockholm (NordSIP) – The Folksam Group, Sweden’s leading insurance and investment management company, is the sole investor in a World Bank-issued $350 million 7-year note that will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proceeds from bond, which was issued on February 12th, will specifically focus on four of the 17 SDGs in the World Bank’s development activities around the world.

“Working for a sustainable world is at the core of the Folksam Group’s values,” said Folksam President and CEO Jens Henriksson. “The 17 SDGs constitute a solid foundation for achieving sustainable development within business and society. While we support all 17 SDGs, through engagement with our clients, we have chosen to focus on four specific SDGs within our sustainable strategy. These are good health and well-being, gender equality, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.”

The World Bank has since raised SEK 1.2 billion ($150.2 million) with a five-year sustainable bond, following up the $350 million private placement to Folksam. The World Bank issues between $50-$60 billion in global capital markets annually, with the proceeds of all its bonds supporting development programs aligned with the SDGs.

Folksam announced it would be acquiring the bond at the UN General Assembly in New York last September.

“Through our partnership with the Folksam Group, we are able to offer a bond that supports specific development priorities for Swedish investors while raising funding for all our operations that are aligned with all SDGs. Engagement with investors like Folksam is key to linking investment to impact, defining effective reporting mechanisms and supporting the development of sustainable investment products and capital markets,” said World Bank Vice President and Treasurer Arunma Oteh.

The bond could mark a sea change in socially responsible investing, broadening the focus from environmental issues to the wider universe of sustainable assets.

“To achieve the SDGs, we have to focus on building capacity of development actors at the local level to finance and deliver services that change the lives of people in their communities,” said Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Group Senior VP for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations and Partnership. “By working with investors like Folksam, we can leverage capital markets globally to support action towards the SDGs locally.”

Image: (c) Sergey Nivens-shutterstock