MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

DBS and capital firm IIX eye US$100m through livelihood bond programme

It targets to help women in Asia to secure sustainable livelihoods.

DBS and capital firm Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) team up to set up a women’s livelihood bond programme as they target to raise a total of $136.51m (US$100m), an announcement revealed.

The funding raised will support high-impact enterprises in South and Southeast Asia focused on areas such as financial inclusion, access to clean energy, and sustainable agriculture. It also looks to help about a million women in Asia to transition from subsistence to sustainable livelihoods.

“Building on the success of our first Women’s Livelihood Bond, IIX is ready to drive women’s empowerment across the globe at a faster pace and larger scale,” IIX CEO and founder Durren Shahnaz said.

The first Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB1) closed in July 2017, and is the world’s first social sustainability bond to be listed on a stock exchange.

“As Asia’s economic fortunes continue to grow, awareness of sustainability issues is growing in tandem,” DBS head of fixed income Clifford Lee commented. “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.”

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