MANILA, PHILIPPINES (29 June 2022) — The Asian Development Bank has supported Thailand’s first social bond issued by a state-owned financial institution under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) social bond standards.

The Government Savings Bank (GSB) issued a 10 billion Thai baht ($295 million) social bond with a maturity of 3 years on 24 June. The bond was sold to Thai institutional investors and high net worth investors, contributing to the development of a sustainable bond market in Thailand.

GSB will use the proceeds to support its social agenda, aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and reducing inequality. In particular, the proceeds will be used to support government policies such as providing low-interest loans to grassroot customers to improve their living conditions and address informal debt; developing occupational capabilities, especially among the unemployed and vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19; and supporting entrepreneurs and communities through low-interest loans and other remedial measures targeting small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic.

“This innovative transaction highlights ADB's commitment to supporting the development of Thailand's sustainable capital market as a way to help the country achieve a long-term, green, and inclusive recovery from COVID-19,” said ADB Country Director for Thailand and Head of the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) Anouj Mehta. “GSB is showing how state-owned financial institutions can demonstrate their commitment to social sustainability.”

ADB provided technical assistance through a collaboration between the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI) and the ACGF. ABMI is an initiative of the governments of ASEAN, the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea to develop local currency bond markets. The ACGF is an initiative of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund to accelerate green infrastructure investments in Southeast Asia.

“We hope that other state-owned financial institutions in the region will view this transaction as a model, paving the way for more sustainable bond issuances and greater transparency among state-owned enterprises,” said ADB Financial Sector Specialist Kosintr Puongsophol.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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