Big Swedish Investment in World Bank SDG Bond

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – A unique partnership between Swedish pension company Skandia, the SEB and Handelsbanken banks and the Church of Sweden has yielded a new sustainability bond developed together with the World Bank that will finance investment in sustainable cities, closely following requirements stipulated in the UN’s 2030 SDG agenda.

    The investors are part of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) network “Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development”.

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    “Creating long-term sustainable value permeates Skandia’s entire business,” explained Skandia CEO Frans Lindelöw in a press release announcing the news. “This investment is another of many examples of how Skandia contributes value creation to customers, companies and broader society.”

    The four Swedish asset managers are together set to invest SEK 2.5 billion in a the sustainability bond, which finances various World Bank projects aimed at sustainable cities, clean water and renewable energy. Many of the investments will promote SDG #11, “Sustainable Cities and Communities”.

    “We are looking for investments that deliver good returns while promoting sustainable social development. Skandia’s SEK 1.5 billion in the World Bank bond will help finance projects in Asia, South America and Africa that streamline infrastructure and energy efficiency,” said Lars-Göran Orrevall, Head of Skandia’s asset management division.

    Handelsbanken, which has not yet commented the development, issued a 5-year unsecure senior €500 million bond under its recently launched Green Bond Framework last June. The funds raised from that issuance will be used for lending to clearly definable investments leading to low carbon dioxide emissions and a climate-sustainable future, such as clean transport, sustainable forestry, green buildings, renewable energy and sustainable water management.

    “We are delighted at the huge response from the market and the interest shown by both Swedish and international investors,” said Elisabet Jamal Bergström, Chief Sustainability Officer at Handelsbanken, at the time. “By issuing a green bond, our focus on climate change and other sustainability comments becomes even clearer.

    SEB and the Church of Sweden have also not yet commented on their investment. Skandia retains the lion’s share at SEK 1.5 out of SEK 2.5 billion of the financing of the bond.

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