MANILA, PHILIPPINES (17 November 2021) — Thailand’s Thaifoods Group, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), launched the first social bond issued by a nonfinancial corporate issuer under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) social bond standards.

Totaling 1 billion Thai baht ($30.5 million) and with a maturity of 5 years, the bond was issued on 11 November under the ASEAN+3 Multicurrency Bond Issuance Framework, which facilitates cross-border issuance of debt securities in participating markets. The CGIF, a trust fund of ADB, guaranteed 100% of the bond, which was sold to leading Thai institutional investors.

Thaifoods Group will use the proceeds from the bond to lend money to subsidiaries, for the purpose of financing and refinancing projects and assets associated with job creation and economic advancement in local communities. ADB is assisting the company with identifying eligible assets, projects, and expenditures, developing a sustainable finance framework, and facilitating discussions with an external reviewer.

“This transaction will serve as a good case study of how private companies can help promote social sustainability,” said ADB Financial Sector Specialist Kosintr Puongsophol. “We hope it will help demonstrate that the private sector can play a critical role in ensuring that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is inclusive, and that is why we are supporting this bond issuance.”

ADB provides technical assistance through the ASEAN+3 Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI) to help develop sustainable local currency bond markets in ASEAN, the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (collectively referred to as ASEAN+3). The technical assistance for the Thaifoods Group bond was developed in accordance with the ABMI's 2019–2022 Medium-Term Road Map, which was endorsed at the 22nd ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in 2019.

Social bonds are bonds that raise funds for new and existing projects with positive social outcomes such as improving food security and access to education, health care, or employment generation.

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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