DEG and IFC Subscribe to Asia Pacific's First Private-Sector Women Entrepreneurs Bonds
In August 2019 DEG and IFC agreed to Subscribe to Asia Pacific’s First Private-Sector Women Entrepreneurs Bonds to be issued by Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri)
More than half of the SMEs in Thailand, and especially those owned by women, lack adequate access to finance. The finance gap for WSMEs in the country is estimated to be $25 billion, accounting for 61 percent of the overall micro and SME finance gap in Thailand.
This inaugural certified social bond issuance will help expand credit lines to women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (WSME) — an important sector that drives economic growth and employment.
This will be the first private-sector “gender” bond issuance in the Asia Pacific region and the first social bond issuance in Asian emerging markets in compliance with the International Capital Markets Association Social Bond Principles and the ASEAN Social Bond Standards. As such, Krungsri’s Women Entrepreneurs Bonds will introduce WSME loans as an attractive asset class for investors and pave the way for the issuance of future capital markets instruments that benefit socially-responsible initiatives in Thailand and the region.
“Krungsri holds strong to our conviction in continuing to grow our business, while fulfilling the broader goal of financial inclusion for the underserved, including the WSME segment. This issuance reaffirms our commitment to corporate citizenship practices and our broader ambition to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Seiichiro Akita, Krungsri’s President and CEO
IFC’s and DEG’s subscriptions will be up to $150 million and up to $70 million, respectively. The investment is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, a joint initiative of IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women to expand access to capital for women entrepreneurs globally.
Bank of Ayudhya, locally known as “Krungsri,” and one of Thailand’s largest universal banks and a leader in retail and SME banking, expects to issue the bonds to IFC and DEG this October.