Shearman & Sterling advised its pro bono client WLB Asset II Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Impact Investment Exchange Pte. Ltd. (IIX), on the offering of $10.5 million aggregate principal amount of its 4% Women’s Livelihood Bond 2 due 2024 (WLB2) and $1.5 million subordinated debt from Rockefeller Foundation Zero Gap Investment Fund Co-Invest, LLC and Rockefeller Foundation Zero Gap Investment Fund, LP. The bonds will help sustainable livelihoods for more than 250,000 underserved women in South and Southeast Asia through innovative finance, and the proceeds will be mainly used to extend loans to selected microfinance institutions and impact enterprises benefitting women in Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
The WLB2 is the second bond in the award-winning Women’s Livelihood Bond™ Series (WLB Series) and has been built on the success of the Women’s Livelihood Bond™ 1 (WLB1), an $8.5 million debt offering closed in July 2017, which helps sustainable livelihoods for over 385,000 women across Southeast Asia. The WLB2 is an innovative financial instrument that mobilizes private sector capital for positive social and environmental impact, while offering financial returns to investors independent of social outcomes. It expands to include more countries than those in the WLB1 such as India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia as well as new sectors such as clean and affordable energy in addition to sustainable agriculture and financial inclusion.
The WLB2 is the Asia Pacific’s second multi-country gender bond listed on the Singapore Exchange and the first ICMA and ASEAN Capital Markets certified Social Bond focused on women’s empowerment.
The team below also included Maryam Usman (London-Investment Funds), Saloni Patel (London-Finance) and Hayley Law (Hong Kong-Capital Markets).