GSS Bonds

British International Investment and Symbiotics strengthen partnership with launch of second Green Basket Bond across Asia and Africa

June 25, 2024

  • Following the successful launch of the first green basket bond in 2022, the new issuance will increase financing to small-scale green projects and businesses, funded through micro, small & medium enterprise (MSME) lenders across Africa, South and South-East Asia.
  • The product will have a greater focus on India supporting the country’s energy transition goals.
  • In addition, over USD 460,000 will be provided by British International Investment’s Technical Assistance facility to enable the MSME lenders to further develop their climate financing expertise.

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, has committed USD 75 million to the second Green Basket Bond arranged by Symbiotics Investments, a leading emerging markets access platform and financial lender. The green lending programme will increase financing to small-scale green projects across Africa, South and Southeast Asia through MSME lenders, with a particular focus on India.  It will focus on supporting new MSME lenders not included in the first Green Basket Bond.

Following the success of the first Green Basket Bond issued in 2022, this programme will continue to leverage Symbiotics’ global network and BII’s 76-year track record as an impact investor, to support an additional 10 – 15 MSME lenders who require smaller investment capital than BII is typically able to fund directly.

The MSME lenders will direct their lending to smaller businesses that usually find it difficult to access funding, and even more so for green projects. As with the first green basket bond, funding will be provided to green projects that span renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, green buildings, agriculture, forestry and more.

Samir Abhyankar, Managing Director and Head of Financial Services, British International Investment, said: “Partnering with Symbiotics on a second green basket bond signifies a continued commitment to empowering smaller financial institutions and supporting sustainable development in climate-vulnerable regions. Channelling capital to where it’s most needed, not only supports local businesses and projects but also contributes to global efforts in building resilience against climate change. The expansion of this programme is a testament to the positive impact and success of the initial partnership. We look forward to continuing working with Symbiotics to further efforts to mobilise more private capital into this space.”

Yvan Renaud, CEO of Symbiotics Investments, added: “We are very grateful to British International Investment for partnering with Symbiotics on this second green basket bond. We share the view that financing dedicated MSME lenders and reaching smaller local businesses and projects strongly contributes to the effectiveness of climate finance. We hope that this second green basket bond will have a catalytic effect on the mobilisation of capital for similar projects that play a key role in successfully tackling climate change and its consequences.”

The first Green Basket Bond supported 11 MSME lenders in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tunisia, Botswana, Kenya, Bangladesh and Nepal.

This Green Basket Bond issuance contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 7) on Affordable and Clean Energy and 13 on Climate Action.

Following the first-ever Green Basket Bond across Africa, South, and South-East Asia, BII sat down with Roland Dominicé, Managing Director at Symbiotics, to discuss key learnings from this innovative finance structure for MSMEs one year on.