World Bank green bonds to fund projects to mitigate climate change

The World Bank is partnering with Swedish bank SEB and several Scandinavian institutional investors to offer a "World Bank green bond" to raise funding for projects intended to mitigate climate change or to help affected people adapt to effects of climate change.

The World Bank said it is the first time it and SEB have offered bonds to raise funds identified in a specific World Bank program, its Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change launched earlier this year.

The first bonds, denominated in kronor, total 2.325 billion kronor (US$294 million) and have a maturity of six years. The interest rate payable annually is .25 percent above Swedish government bond rates. SEB is the sole lead manager and will offer the bonds to investors through its distribution network.

The World Bank said the bonds are a response to demand from a group of Scandinavian investors. Credit Suisse International is a senior co-manager and Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg is a co-manager for the transaction.

"With this issue we have been able to offer our clients a product through which they can accomplish three things: Take a stand toward fighting global warming, support the World Bank and its members in their efforts to fight poverty, and secure a higher return than government securities by investing in the World Bank's Aaa/AAA-rated bonds," SEB President Annika Falkengren said.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the transaction is an important early effort to show a way to tackle climate change.

"We hope it demonstrates that private citizens can safely and profitably invest their savings today while also helping provide a better world for their children," Zoellick said.

SEB is a northern European financial group serving 400,000 corporate customers and institutions and 5 million individuals. It offers universal banking services in Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It has a local presence in other Nordic countries, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, and a global presence through an international network in another ten countries.

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