African Development Bank wins award for issuing a Covid-19 social bond aimed at raising $3bn


CONTINENTAL lender the African Development Bank (AfDB) was been selected as the best issuer in the year in an online poll for coming up with the idea of a $3bn dollar-denominated Covid-19 social bond issued on March 27.


As a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, Africa has been hit hard as most of her countries have suffered from the effects of a slowdown in global commerce. Most African economies are dependent on selling primary commodities to the industrial world and with the economic shutdown, they have been faced paralysis.


Founded in 1964, the AfDB was created to spur sustainable economic development and social progress across the African continent, contributing to poverty reduction. With the global economy suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown, the bank opted to float a bond as a means of generating capital to help its member states access finance for socio-economic development.


In a recent poll of bond market players, the AfDB was named as one of the winners of the Global Capital Bond Awards, which were announce at a virtual ceremony. Global Capital is a leading source of information on global capital markets with coverage of all market segments.


AfDB' s bond has since been listed on the London Stock Exchange and was admitted on the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Platform. Bond proceeds, with a three-year maturity, will go to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.


A Global Capital spokesman said:  “The primary debt capital markets’ response to the coronavirus crisis has been resilient and robust. Institutions all over the world from governments and multilateral development banks, to domestic lenders, to companies have raised vital financing to see them through this extraordinary period."


This bond issue is part of a suite of interventions the AfDB has rolled out to strengthen African countries’ responses to the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Other initiatives include a Covid-19 response facility of up to $10bn to provide flexible and emergency assistance to the bank’s members to shore up their national budget, economies and enhance the livelihoods of their citizens.


An AfDB spokesman said: “We are grateful for the market’s recognition of the bank’s effort in responding quickly to the needs of the continent with its Fight Covid-19 social bond, which is an important instrument in alleviating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on African economies and lives."


Other initiatives were also lauded at the Global Capital Bond Awards. These include the Fight Covid-19 bond, floated on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and significantly oversubscribed, emerging as the world’s largest social bond at the time of its issuance.