Impact Investment Exchange’s $12 Million Gender Bond Offering

Latham advised DBS, Standard Chartered, and ANZ on Impact Investment Exchange’s US$12 million Women’s Livelihood BondTM2 (WLB2).

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) has successfully closed the US$12 million Women’s Livelihood BondTM 2 (WLB2), the Asia-Pacific’s second multi-country gender bond to be listed on a stock exchange (the Singapore Exchange), creating sustainable livelihoods for 250,000+ underserved women in the region.

The WLB2 is the second bond in the award-winning Women’s Livelihood Bond Series (WLB Series), debt securities that will create sustainable livelihoods for over 2 million women across Asia through innovative finance. The WLB Series shall benefit from a partial guarantee provided by the United States Agency for International Development and the Rockefeller Foundation has provided first-loss capital for the bonds issued by WLB2.

The WLB Series are the first listed gender lens bonds for several countries in Asia, including Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Its key innovations include: (1) being the world’s first gender lens instrument listed on a stock exchange; (2) creating a deep impact investment product suitable for institutions and private banking clients; and (3) demonstrating scalability and replicability across geographies and sectors.

The WLB2 has gained new support from The Rockefeller Foundation, The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Standard Chartered Bank, Latham & Watkins, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, and UN Women. These partners join existing supporters including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), DBS Bank, ANZ, Shearman & Sterling, Hogan Lovells, and more. The success of the WLB2 adds to the long-standing partnership with USAID, which played a significant role in the success of the first Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB1). USAID’s continued engagement further demonstrates the U.S. Government’s support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Indo-Pacific region.

Investors in the bonds include U.S. institutional investor Nuveen, European institutional investor Blue Orchard, and others from across Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Latham team was led by Singapore partner Rajiv Gupta (Picture), and included Singapore counsel Louis Rabinowitz and associate Esha Goel. Additional support was provided by London partner Lene Malthasen, Chicago partner Nabil Sabki, Chicago associates John Reinert and Jina Yun, and Singapore associate Marcus Tan.

Involved fees earner: Esha Goel – Latham & Watkins; Rajiv Gupta – Latham & Watkins; Lene Malthasen – Latham & Watkins; Louis Rabinowitz – Latham & Watkins; John Reinert – Latham & Watkins; Nabil Sabki – Latham & Watkins; Marcus Tan – Latham & Watkins; Jina Yun – Latham & Watkins;

Law Firms: Latham & Watkins;

Clients: ANZ Banking Group; DBS Bank; Standard Chartered Bank;

Author: Michael Patrini