British International Investment
14 June 2022

British International Investment and Symbiotics partner to launch first-ever Green Basket Bond across Africa, South and Southeast Asia

  • The US $75 million green basket bond will finance small-scale green projects and businesses, funded through micro, small & medium enterprise (MSME) banks across Africa, South and South-East Asia
  • An additional c. US $520,000 will also be provided by British International Investment’s Technical Assistance facility to enable these MSME banks to better support the growth of the green projects and businesses
  • The innovative, multi-currency green lending programme is expected to set a new market standard and help scale climate finance across Asia and Africa

We have subscribed to a US $75 million Green Basket Bond arranged by Symbiotics, a leading emerging markets access platform and financial lender. The green lending programme will direct much-needed financing (across multiple currencies) to small-scale green projects across Africa, South and Southeast Asia through local MSME banks.

This Green Basket Bond is the first of its kind issued in BII’s markets – covering the African continent, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. This programme will leverage Symbiotics’ global network, and BII’s 74-year track record as an impact investor, to support 10 – 15 MSME banks who require smaller investment capital than BII is typically able to fund directly.

Loans provided through the programme will help to fund small-scale green projects such as rooftop solar panels, sustainable agriculture, energy-efficient appliances including clean cookstoves, energy efficiency improvements to buildings, electric vehicles and more. The success of a programme such as this will build the green lending capabilities of MSME banks across target markets, increase capital to support small-scale green projects in these target markets, and provide a replicable structure for other investors seeking to increase their allocation to climate finance across Asia and Africa.

To further drive impact, we are providing an additional c. US $520,000 through its technical assistance (TA) facility which will be managed by Symbiotics’ provider, Symbiotics Association for Sustainable Development (SASD). The TA facility will support these MSME banks to develop their green financing capabilities by enhancing their ability to identify and manage green assets.

Jo Fry, Investment Director & Head of Intermediated Credit, British International Investment, added: “We are delighted to partner with Symbiotics, a trusted impact-focused asset manager, on this pioneering programme. This investment will increase access to climate finance for small scale entrepreneurs and businesses that are developing green projects. It will also increase MSME banks’ capabilities to identify and manage climate assets. BII’s intention is that this new, innovative funding structure will enable other investors to replicate and invest in this space. The programme is a testament to BII’s commitment to create and catalyse new funding structures that can help address the greatest challenges in our market.”

Daniel Schriber, Head of Investments at Symbiotics, said: “Symbiotics is delighted to structure its first green basket bond in partnership with BII. Adding green use of proceeds to our emerging market investments will broaden the impact of our funding in addressing different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This innovative product will also increase the awareness of climate finance in emerging markets and support financial institutions in further developing and managing their green product range.”

This Green Basket Bond issuance contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 7) on Affordable and Clean Energy and 13 on Climate Action.

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