World Bank Kicks Off 2021 Benchmark Program with CAD 1.5 Billion Sustainable Development Bond While Raising Awareness for Health and Gender Equality

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Washington:  The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) today priced its inaugural benchmark transaction of 2021, a 5-year CAD 1.5 billion global bond that matures on January 14, 2026. The World Bank launched the Sustainable Development Bond while raising awareness for the World Bank’s strategy, projects and programs that focus on gender equality and health and highlight how COVID-19 disproportionately impacts women.

The 5-year benchmark pays a semi-annual coupon of 0.625% p.a. and has an issue price of 99.750% and a final spread of +28.25 bps over the 0.50% CAN September 2025 reference bond, offering investors a yield of 0.676% (semi-annual). Joint lead managers for this transaction are BMO Capital Markets, National Bank Financial Markets, Scotiabank, and TD Securities.

Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank, said: “We are pleased to see a robust start to 2021 with continued support for the World Bank’s sustainable development mandate from Canadian dollar investors. Investor interest in elevating topics like gender equality and strong and equitable health systems helps to raise awareness for these challenges and highlight the importance of channeling finance to where it is needed most. Recognition of the purpose of investment and impact are key to creating a sustainable and resilient future for all”.

Investor Distribution by Investor Type Investor Distribution by Region
Banks/Bank Treasuries/Corporates 38% Americas 61%
Asset Managers/Insurance/Pension Funds 33% Europe/Middle East/Africa 25%
Central Banks/Official 29% Asia 14%

The World Bank’s goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Increasingly, investors and other market participants are using the SDGs as a framework for investment and a way to communicate support for specific development priorities. With this Sustainable Development Bond, the World Bank is raising awareness for SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Investing in World Bank bonds offers investors an opportunity to align financial and social objectives.

Sean Hayes, Managing Director & Head of US Syndicate & Credit Sales, BMO Capital Markets, said: “The World Bank kicks off a fourth consecutive year with a triumphant reopening of Canadian dollar primary markets. The World Bank’s regular presence in CAD speaks to its leadership and commitment to maintaining curves across non-USD currencies for its global investors focused on sustainability. This issuance highlights current global challenges encompassing health and gender equality. The CAD 1.5 billion 5-year benchmark matches the World Bank’s largest Canadian primary new issue and demonstrates strong domestic and international demand for sustainable bonds”.

Scott Graham, Managing Director, Head of US Government & SSA Finance said: “The World Bank once again demonstrates its exceptional leadership and its resounding commitment to both sustainability and the Canadian bond market by consecutively reopening the Maple market with a 5-year offering for the 2nd year in a row. The overwhelming global support for the World Bank continues to be magnified by its underlying sustainability principles that reinforce its overall purpose of eliminating global poverty, with this latest transaction highlighting SDG 3 (Health and Well-Being) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality), while providing continued assistance to developing countries affected by COVID-19. Congratulations to the World Bank team on continued success in the Canadian market”.

Cesare Roselli, Head of SSA Origination, Scotiabank said: “Scotiabank is proud to support the World Bank in its debut capital markets offering of 2021, focusing on health and well-being and gender equality (SDG 3 and 5). With this transaction, the World Bank reinforced its commitment to the Canadian dollar market as a strategic currency of its funding program. The issue received strong sponsorship from both the domestic and international ESG investment community, thus cementing the recognition of the World Bank in an increasingly important market for sustainable issuance”.

Laura O’Connor, Managing Director, Fixed Income Origination & Syndication, TD Securities said: “Congratulations to the World Bank for an impressive start of 2021 with a CAD 1.5 billion deal. The demand from the full spectrum of domestic and international investors reflects the exceptional track record of the World Bank in the CAD market. This global Sustainable Development Bond highlights SDG 3, Good Health, and SDG 5, Gender Equality, which draws investor attention to the continued challenges in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

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