Swedes Support First Blue Bond

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – On August 30, the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, Aaa/AAA) issued a SEK 1 billion Sustainable Development Bond with a maturity of 7 years. It is the first of a series of bond issues IBRD has in store to raise awareness for the critical role that water and ocean resources play in development around the world.

    Swedish institutions were keen to support the issue. State pension fund AP1, corporate bond funds at SEB, SPP Storebrand and Swedbank Robur played a key role in the success of the bond, according to the World Bank.  Given the strong growth of the green bond market in Swedish Kronor, it is certainly not by chance the World Bank chose that currency to issue the first bond in this new series. The organisation chose SEB as the sole lead manager for this transaction.

    The decision of the World Bank to launch an initiative to raise awareness for the health of oceans and urgent need for clean water through their sustainable development bond issues, is very much welcomed by investors. We see increased interest from our investors to understand risks around water management and the need to protect oceans. Engaging with the World Bank and others around this topic is extremely helpful,” says Christopher Flensborg, Head of Climate & Sustainable Finance at SEB.

    Swedbank acted as a key investor and acquired just over half of the issue (SEK 550m), according to a press release, which takes the banks’ total green bond investments to approximately SEK 7 billion. “At Swedbank Robur, we are convinced that long-term sustainability is strongly connected with long-term profitability for our investors. Therefore we see this key investment in the World Bank´s green bonds to finance UN’s sustainability goals, as a great opportunity both for us, our customers and the society in a whole. By making this key investment, we are actively contributing to the work to fulfill the goals of securing access to clean water for a larger part of the world’s population, as well as working towards a more sustainable use of our marine resources,” says Thomas Bäck, Fund Manager, Swedbank Robur.

    Helena Lindahl, Senior Portfolio Manager at Storebrand says: Water is the driver of nature. We at SPP Storebrand welcome IBRD’s effort to issue a bond which highlights the critical water topic. In the coming years, we need to scale up investments in infrastructure related to water tremendously. Raising awareness is a welcomed first step.”

    Picture available on Pexels

    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA is Editor-in-Chief for NordSIP and Managing Director for Big Green Tree Media. She has 18 years of experience in the asset management industry in Stockholm, London and Geneva, including as a long/short equity hedge fund portfolio manager, and buy-side analyst, but also as CFO and COO in several asset management firms. Aline holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a License in Economic Sciences from the University of Geneva.

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