British International Investment and Symbiotics strengthen partnership with launch of second Green Basket Bond in India, rest of Asia and Africa

  • The new issuance will have a greater focus on India with 50 per cent expected to be allocated to this market.
  • Following the successful launch of the first green basket bond in 2022, the second programme will increase financing to small-scale green projects and businesses, funded through micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) lenders across Africa, South and South-East Asia.
  • The programme will help address the MSME credit gap in India, which is estimated to be around $530 billion with only 14 per cent of over 64 million MSMEs having access to credit[i].

British International Investment and Symbiotics strengthen partnership with launch of second Green Basket Bond in India

Bengaluru – 25 June 2024 – British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, has committed $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 South-East Asia through MSME lenders, with 50 per cent of the financing earmarked for 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. In addition, over $460,000 will be provided by BII’s Technical Assistance facility to enable the MSME lenders to further develop their climate financing expertise.

The fight against the climate emergency is a global challenge. India’s high vulnerability to climate change with an increasing risk of extreme weather events and rising sea levels requires an urgent need for green projects. However, many green businesses and projects within the MSME sector find it difficult to get access to finance. In India, the MSME financing gap is estimated at $530 billion. To address this gap, the new Green Basket Bond will have a bigger focus on India to provide much needed capital to green businesses and projects to help the country achieve its sustainability goals.

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 Group, 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 is 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 (SDG 7) on Affordable and Clean Energy and (SDG13) on Climate Action.