(MENAFN- IFC News) Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, April 29, 2022 – To boost access to finance for women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Tanzania, IFC announced today it invested in sub-Saharan Africa’s first Gender Bond listed by Tanzania’s NMB Bank Plc.
Proceeds from the NMB Bank Gender Bond will finance more than 2,000 women-owned small and medium-sized businesses in Tanzania to grow and create jobs. Currently, 75 percent of women-owned businesses in Tanzania don’t have access to the finance they need due to challenges including lack of collateral or limited awareness of available financial products.
IFC subscribed to 31 percent of the bond (equivalent to $10 million in Tanzanian shillings), which was listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange on April 28. The issuance raised $32 million, representing an oversubscription of 197 percent. The bond is NMB’s first Gender Bond in sub-Saharan Africa with a Social Bond Framework that is aligned with Social Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association and has a Second Party Opinion by Sustainalytics. IFC's investment in the bond is supported by the International Development Association's (IDA) Private Sector Window Local Currency Facility.
“IFC is proud to support this landmark bond issuance in sub-Saharan Africa and to grow our partnership with NMB Bank. Expanding access to finance for more women-led businesses will create jobs and enhance sustainable economic growth in Tanzania,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Regional Vice President for Africa.
"IFC’s investment in Jasiri Bond is a true testament of investors’ confidence in the Bank’s vision and support for the positive impact NMB is making in promoting socio-economic empowerment in Tanzania. Through the Jasiri Bond, the Bank will extend affordable financing for women-owned or women-controlled enterprises and/or businesses whose products or services directly impact a woman," said Ruth Zaipuna, Chief Executive Officer, NMB Bank.
Since 2013, roughly 80 Gender Bonds have been issued globally that align with the International Capital Markets Association Social Bond Principles or Sustainability-linked Bond Principles, and more institutions are looking at debt instruments as a source to raise funding to advance gender equality.
NMB’s Gender Bond is part of the Bank’s broader TZS 200 billion ($86 million) medium-term note (MTN) program that started in 2016 to contribute to the country’s economic and social development by raising financing that is targeted at strengthening sustainable food systems, generating employment, funding infrastructure, and supporting women-owned businesses.
IFC’s investment is part of its Banking on Women business, which has invested and mobilized over $3.2 billion in financial institutions to finance women-led SMEs in over 64 emerging countries, including through other landmark bonds such as the gender bond made by Banco Pichincha in the Ecuadorian stock market, the Women Entrepreneurs Bond with Bank of Ayudhya in Thailand and the gender bond issued by Turkey’s Garanti Bank.
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