NMB Bank Issues “Gender Bond” on Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX)

NMB Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has listed its first “gender bond” on the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX).

The bond holds a face value of  TZS 74 billion or the equivalent to USD $ 32 million).

In a special event in Luxembourg, representatives of the bank were joined by the Luxembourg Stock Exchange to launch the issuance on the same day as the Luxembourg Women in Finance Charter.

The stated objective of the bond is to bring access to capital for women-owned SMEs or micro firms in Tanzania. The bond was said to be 197% over-subscribed.

Luxembourg Minister of Finance Yuriko Backes issued a statement on the gender bond:

“This listing marks an important milestone for global efforts to promote gender finance and underlines the Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s pioneering role in helping to drive new and emerging sustainable financial products. By directing capital towards initiatives that empower women and advance their participation in the economy, the financial sector can thus support the unlocking of new opportunities for growth and innovation to help build a more equitable and sustainable future for all.”

The proceeds of the bond are expected to provide up to 3,000 women in Tanzania with access to the financing necessary to start or grow their own businesses.

Also known as NMB Bank’s Jasiri bond – brave in Swahili – the bond was issued under the bank’s Social Bond Framework, which is said to be aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles.

NMB Bank CEO Ruth Zaipuna said that creating inclusive growth and the empowerment of women is a key tent of her bank and the listing of the gender bond underscores their commitment to gender empowerment.

“… [we are] the first Sub-Saharan bank to bring a gender-based bond to an exchange with a fast-growing reputation as a hub for sustainable finance. We are glad to contribute to the exchange’s role. Going forward, we remain committed to being a beacon of innovation, excellence and sustainability leadership within and outside Tanzania.”

Last year, LuxSE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with UN Women in committing to join forces to advance gender finance.

LGX now boasts almost 50 social, sustainability, and sustainability-linked gender-focused bonds.

Julie Becker, CEO of LuxSE, said it was an honor to welcome the bond from NMB.

“This bond is a perfect illustration of the importance of women’s economic empowerment and the positive impact of gender finance. At LuxSE, we see it as our duty to advance the gender agenda and give issuers of gender bonds a pathway to international capital markets while also providing the visibility needed for investors to access these gender-focused investment opportunities.”

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