mtn-i 1st Uridashi editors award “Hi 5’s”
AfDB social capital leadership

mtn-i’s 1st Uridashi Editor’s Award presented in Tokyo last month, recognises the African Development Bank’s leadership in Social Capital Market Development at a time when many of the worlds leading issuers are thinking about how to define and issue social and sustainable debt.

While some institutions have headed in the direction of branding all development finance sustainable in line with their development targeted investments, the AfDB has pursued a strategy of segmenting its vision, mandate, balance sheet and funding in pursuit of its overall objective to transform the continent’s future around five clear goals.

It’s Hi 5 social development goals – Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialise Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa – thematically segment most of the United Nations 17 development goals.

Micro Targeting

This mtn-i Editor’s Award recognises how the sale and marketing of Uridashi notes linked to these Hi 5 themes gives retail investors a very clear connection between their investment and the AfDB’s vision and impact. The initial focus on issuance of notes linked to “Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa” makes that clear and opens the door to building demand for the other Hi 5 goals.

The bank sold 31 deals branded to Improve the Lives of the People of Africa to Uridashi retail investors in the year to September. The trades emerged in 6 currencies and sizes as small as USD 1 million equivalent in order to micro target and nurture rapidly growing retail investor for social bonds.

AfDB has raised privately placed funding under its MTN programme since the late 1990s, has an office in Tokyo, a Japanese language website and works in collaboration with local securities houses.

Philanthropic Returns

Uridashi investor interest in philanthropic as well as economic returns has made Japanese retail a longstanding leader in SRI investing – particularly social bonds – where appetite for products which directly save and improve lives has proved core to the global market’s development. This dates back as far as inspiring the success with IFFim’s vaccination bonds nearly a decade ago – funding credited by the WHO as saving the lives of 500 million children. Today demand for social bonds – the fastest growing SRI segment globally is strongest in the Uridashi market. It’s a decade long case study in the potential that capital market visionaries now see as the future role capital markets can play in saving and improving the planet and the lives of its inhabitants and one which mtn-i first recognised with our Global mtn-i Editor’s Award to IFFim in 2010.

This SRI goal for capital market influence is no better recognised than by our 1st Uridashi Editor’s Award to the African Development Bank for Social Capital Market Development.

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