Costa Rica will issue the country’s first social bond, which will serve to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. At least 40% of the funds from the issue will be used to finance this type of organization that are headed by women. This issuance was possible due to the IDB Invest alliance, BancoNacional, and FinDev Canada.
This is an issue to be made by the BancoNacionalof of subordinated social bonds for $75 million. Two series will be structured and will be subscribed as follows: US$45 million by IDB Invest and US$30 million by FinDev Canada.
The IDB Invest, belonging to the Inter-American Development Bank, finances sustainable companies and projects. Meanwhile, FinDev Canada is dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries in order to combat poverty.
The transaction seeks to strengthen the bank’s capital structure through a new injection of secondary capital. These resources will facilitate access to financing for micro, small and medium enterprises in Costa Rica.
This is the first issuance of a social bond in Costa Rica and it would be the first social bond issued by the Banco Nacional.As part of the bond issuance process, IDB Invest advised Nacional on the design of the methodological framework for the use of funds. This contains the criteria for the selection, monitoring, and evaluation of projects, aligned with the principles of social bonds of the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA for its acronym in English).
The bank obtained independent verification of the methodological framework, known as a second-party opinion, issued by V.E., an external consultant specializing in this type of project.
For its part, FinDev Canada accompanied the BancoNacionalin the development of a strategic gender plan and carried out a diagnosis of gender gaps with the support of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) tool. This strategic plan will allow the strengthening and expansion of the institution’s offer of financial products aimed at women.
This operation is expected to contribute to five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
- End of poverty (SDG 1)
- Gender equality (SDG 5)
- Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8)
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9)
- Reduction of inequalities (SDG 10)