IFC and T.Rowe Price create blue bond strategy
T.Rowe Price and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, have announced plans to create a global blue bond strategy to help finance blue projects in emerging markets.
The proposed T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Blue Economy Bond Strategy will be expected to “mobilise international capital from eligible investors to support blue-labeled investments in emerging markets globally through blue bonds issued by financial institutions and real sector companies.”
Blue investments seek to provide competitive returns while supporting the health, productivity, and resilience of the world’s oceans and water resources, which are vital for sustainable global development, especially in the face of climate change, overfishing, and pollution.
IFC has said that since 2020 it has invested and mobilised more than US$1.4 billion through 12 blue bonds and loans issued by private sector financial institutions and real sector corporates across emerging markets and developing economies.
“We are proud to partner with IFC to further the blue economy,” said Rob Sharps, chief executive and president of T. Rowe Price.
“We’re gratified that our emerging markets investment experience can be leveraged in such a meaningful, innovative, and important way, providing opportunities for positive investment returns while supporting sustainable capital markets and preserving valuable water resources for generations to come.”
To bolster the supply of blue bonds issued by real sector borrowers, T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Blue Economy Bond investment activities will be complemented by a Technical Assistance Facility, or TAF, managed by IFC, designed to increase the quality and quantity of blue bond issuance in emerging markets, the firm said.
To ensure that the mobilised resources achieve the desired impact objectives, IFC and T. Rowe Price have jointly developed Blue Impact Investment Guidelines that will be implemented specifically for this strategy.
These guidelines will be aligned with IFC’s Guidelines for Blue Finance which were published in January 2022 to guide IFC’s own investments in support of a Sustainable Blue Economy.