AFRICA — The African Development Bank has been feted at the 2020 Global Capital Awards for its contributions towards the fight of the novel corona virus in the continent.

The Africa-focused multilateral financial institution was selected in a poll of bond market players as the best issuer in 2020 of a COVID-19 bond thanks to its $3 billion dollar-denominated Fight COVID-19 social bond issued earlier in March.

GlobalCapital is a leading source of information on global capital markets with coverage of all market segments and has been conducting the annual bond award for 12 years now.

“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.”

Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala – Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer AfDB Bank Group

Ms Tshabalala noted that thanks to the very strong support received by investors, the AfDB was able to provide an efficient response at a very challenging time while also catering to the needs of socially responsible investors looking for impactful investments.

The Fight COVID-19 bond, floated on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and significantly oversubscribed, was the world’s largest social bond at time of issuance.

The Bank has since listed the bond on both the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Bond proceeds, with a three-year maturity, will go to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.

The primary debt capital markets’ response to the coronavirus crisis has been resilient and robust with institutions all over the world from governments to companies raising vital financing to see them through this extraordinary period.

The AfDB bond issue is part of a suite of interventions the Bank has rolled out to strengthen African countries’ responses to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes a COVID-19 Response Facility of up to $10 billion to provide flexible and emergency assistance to the Bank’s members to shore up their national budget, economies and livelihoods of their citizens.

Since 2017, the African Development Bank has launched nearly $5 billion worth of social bonds denominated in US dollars, euros and Norwegian krone.

In 2018, the Bank which has AAA credit rating was recognized as “Second most impressive social or sustainability bond issuer” at the Global Capital Socially Responsible Investments Awards.

In March 2020, it received the Environmental Finance’s 2020 bond of the year award—SSA category— for a successful one billion Norwegian krone (NOK) social bond issued in 2019.

The Norwegian Krone was the first social bond ever launched in the Norwegian market, and the Bank’s first transaction in Norwegian Krone.

To respond to increased demand for funding in the content, the Board of Governors of the Bank Group approved a 125% increase in the General Capital of the Bank in 2019, raising the Bank’s capital from $93 billion to $208 billion, the largest increase in the institution’s history.

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