IDB Group supports BICE to issue the first sustainable bond in Argentina

  • IDB Invest will subscribe this financial instrument that includes green and social criteria

Buenos Aires, December 7, 2018IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, signed an agreement with BICE (Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior) of Argentina for the subscription of a $30 million bond. It will be the first one qualified as sustainable in Argentina, as well as being the bond issuance that contributes to the largest number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"This innovative financial instrument is another example of how the capital market can contribute to the sustainable development of Argentina," said Gema Sacristán, chief investment officer at IDB Invest.

The bond issuance is aimed at strengthening financial inclusion and productive development. Within its project portfolio, BICE has identified seven of the seventeen United Nations SDGs that it could contribute toward: No poverty (No. 1), Gender equality (No 5), Affordable and clean energy (No. 7), Decent work and economic growth (No. 8), Industry, innovation and infrastructure (No. 9), Reduced inequalities (No. 10) and Climate action (No. 13).

The use of the funds is aimed at increasing the loan portfolio in BICE for projects that comply with at least one of the seven identified SDGs. Of particular note are the energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, the companies led by women, those operations that support the development of the northern area of Argentina, the issuance of negotiable obligations of small and medium enterprises (SME) and SME with a generation of measurable employment.

"The issuance of this bond is a fundamental milestone because it will allow more projects with positive social and environmental impact to materialize in our country," said Francisco Cabrera, president of BICE. "We are looking for this initiative to be replicated by the rest of the system because responsible finance is the future," he added.

IDB Invest’s participation was complemented by technical assistance from the IDB. Through this support, BICE designed a framework for the identification and selection of projects aligned with the SDGs. The framework of this sustainable bonds received the highest rating from the company Vigeo Eiris, an independent third party specialized in these operations who made the second opinion of the parties.

Since 2017, the IDB has been supporting the national development banks of the region to issue green, social and sustainable bonds. Currently, IDB is working on projects in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to supporting Latin America and the Caribbean businesses. It finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results that maximize economic, social and environmental development for the region. With a current portfolio of $11.2 billion under management and 330 clients in 23 countries, IDB Invest works across sectors to provide innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the evolving demands of its clients. As of November 2017, IDB Invest is the trade name of the Inter-American Investment Corporation.

About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About BICE
BICE (Bank of Investment and Foreign Trade) is a public bank that grants short, medium and long-term loans for investment and foreign trade, with a focus on financial inclusion and regional development. It contributes to the execution of large infrastructure works, promotes projects for the generation of renewable energies, finances the strategic productive sectors and promotes exports