DBS in tie-up on bonds to help Asia's vulnerable women

DBS Bank has returned as official banking partner and sole placement agent for the second round of a debt security listing to support women in Asia.

DBS and Singapore-based capital firm Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) will issue a series of bonds with a target of US$100 million (S$137 million) under the Women's Livelihood Bond scheme, they said yesterday.

The money will fund and support South and South-east Asian enterprises tackling financial inclusion, clean energy access and sustainable agriculture, with the goal of benefiting one million vulnerable women.

The first Women's Livelihood Bond had an issuance of US$8 million, with a four-year tenor and a coupon rate of 5.65 per cent a year. It was listed on the Singapore Exchange and closed in July last year.

Ms Durreen Shahnaz, IIX's chief executive and founder, said the bond scheme empowers women "by providing critical capital to those who are breaking the cycle of poverty and enabling women to take control of their own livelihoods".

Mr Clifford Lee, head of fixed income at DBS Bank, said its tie-up with IIX was a partnership "with like-minded communities". "As Asia's economic fortunes continue to grow, awareness of sustainability issues is growing in tandem. As such, we expect to see greater interest for sustainable investment opportunities in the region as they not only generate positive financial returns, but social returns as well," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2018, with the headline 'DBS in tie-up on bonds to help Asia's vulnerable women'. Print Edition | Subscribe