NMB Bank brings first Sub-Saharan gender bond to LGX


As part of its International Women’s Day celebrations, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange welcomed the first gender bond from Sub-Saharan Africa issued by NMB Bank Plc in Tanzania.

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09/03/2023 |
  • NMB Bank gender bond listing

In a special two-part Ring the Bell ceremony which saw the launch of the Luxembourg Women in Finance Charter, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) was also joined by representatives of NMB Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to celebrate the display of the bank’s TZS 74 billion (equivalent to USD 32 million) gender bond on the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX).

With the stated objective of bringing much-needed financing to women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Tanzania, this is the first ever gender bond issued in the East Africa region. The trailblazing issuance from NMB Bank was 197% over-subscribed which shows great appetite for gender bonds and sets a new benchmark for the continent in developing financial instruments specifically targeting women’s empowerment.

Luxembourg Minister of Finance Yuriko Backes, who officially launched the Luxembourg Women in Finance Charter during the International Women’s Day event, commented:

“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.”

Empowering Tanzania’s female entrepreneurs

The proceeds of this social bond are expected to provide up to 3,000 women in Tanzania with access to the financing necessary to start or grow their own business. By dedicating 100% of the bond’s proceeds to such projects, NMB’s gender bond will allow many women in Tanzania to enjoy financial independence and build a future for themselves, their families and communities.

“It is an honour to welcome this inaugural gender bond from NMB Bank to LuxSE.  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,” commented Julie Becker, CEO of LuxSE.

Leading the way in gender finance

Also known as NMB Bank’s Jasiri bond – meaning brave in Swahili – the bond was issued under the bank’s Social Bond Framework which is aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles. In line with NMB Bank’s mission of “delivering human development and social inclusion”, per its Social Bond Framework, this important gender bond contributes directly to UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

NMB Bank CEO Ruth Zaipuna said “Driving inclusive growth through gender equality and economic empowerment of women, is one of the core tenets, guiding NMB Bank’s purpose and vision. The listing of the Jasiri bond on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange underscores our commitment towards gender empowerment, and marks yet another history for the bank, for being 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,” added Ms Zaipuna.

Embracing equality through finance

In May last year, LuxSE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with UN Women in which the two institutions committed to joining forces to advance gender finance and gender-lens investing. As part of its commitments, LuxSE established a gender-focused bond flag on LGX, which highlights debt securities listed on LuxSE and displayed on LGX which raise financing for projects advancing gender equality. The gender-focused bond flag makes it easier for investors to identify investment opportunities that contribute to gender equality objectives.

With the display of NMB’s gender bond, LGX now counts almost 50 social, sustainability and sustainability-linked gender-focused bonds, which all contribute to empowering women and girls around the world.

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