PRESS RELEASE: IFC Launches First Bonds Supporting Inclusive Businesses in Emerging Markets
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Washington, D.C. / Tokyo, October 29, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the first bond program to support businesses that profitably provide goods, services, and job opportunities to people at the base of the economic pyramid. IFC calls these inclusive business models.
The IFC Inclusive Business Bonds raised over $100 million for investment in companies that actively integrate low-income communities into their value chain so they can participate in economic growth. The bonds were sold to Japanese retail and institutional investors and arranged and distributed by Daiwa Securities. They were fully subscribed during the offering period.
Approximately 4.5 billion people live at the base of the pyramid, or on less than $8 per day. They may include small holder farmers who buy seeds and fertilizers, or people in poverty-stricken areas who buy food from street kiosks. They are often overlooked but are in fact vibrant agents for inclusive growth in developing countries—together, people living at the base of the pyramid spend an aggregate of $5 trillion a year.
“Global and local companies increasingly see the market potential of people in the poorest socio-economic group, and they are looking for solutions to bring them affordable, quality products and services,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer. “The IFC Inclusive Business bonds offer a new asset class that supports these businesses and enables investors to help create profitable solutions, opportunities, and jobs for people living at the base of the pyramid.”