Economy and Business

AfDB launches $463.9m ‘Kangaroo’ Social Bond

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has initiated a 600-million-Australian-dollar (463.9-million-dollar) 5.5-year Kangaroo bond, marking its return to the Australian dollar bond market.

A Kangaroo bond, also known as a matilda bond, is a foreign bond issued in the Australian market by non-Australian firms and is denominated in Australian currency.

In a statement from AfDB on Monday, the bond is subject to the securities regulations of Australia.

AfDB Treasurer, Hassatou N’sele, said that the transaction, announced on June 8, was led by Nomura and RBC Capital Markets.

According to her, the bond is the bank’s first benchmark Kangaroo since early 2018, its first in the mid-curve since 2015 and its largest Australian dollar trade ever issued.

N’sele said that the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a rise in global issuances of social bonds.

“Following the groundbreaking 3.1 billion dollars three-year ‘Fight COVID-19’ Social Bond we issued in 2020, we’re glad to see that public domestic markets, like the Kangaroo bond market, are now seeing similar development.

“This is in terms of interest from dedicated ESG investors, which provided additional momentum enabling us to print the largest trade we’ve ever done in AUD,” N’sele said.

Also, Keith Werner, Manager of Capital Markets and Financial Operations, said 38 per cent of investors in the deal had a socially responsible investment approach.

Werner added that the AfDB intended to issue more social bonds in Australian dollars.

“In addition to the important contribution that socially responsible investors had to the success of this trade, it’s also gratifying to see such a large portion of the investors (41 per cent) were domestic.

“We look forward to leveraging this momentum and continue evaluating opportunities in the future in this market,” Werner said.

He said that more than 30 investors participated in the deal, with a total order book of more than 775 million Australian dollars.

They included a strong cohort of Australian investors, while fund managers were the major investor type.

The Australian dollar is the fifth currency in which the AfDB has issued social bonds since it established the programme in 2017, following deals in euros, US dollars, Norwegian kroner and Swedish kronor (SEK).

In December 2016, the bank launched its inaugural Kangaroo Green Bond.

This transaction followed successful outings in USD and SEK Benchmark formats.

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