NUR-SULTAN – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised 14 billion tenge ($32 million) from its second gender bond issue in Kazakhstan, reports the ADB press service.
“This is ADB’s second gender bond in Kazakhstan tenge, adding to the brace of green bonds that we issued in 2020,” said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. “Raising local currency finance to support development continues to feature center-stage in our work at ADB Treasury.”
A gender bond, first issued by the ADB in February 2021, is a fixed income security that finances projects that support women’s empowerment, equality, and access to finance.
The funds will help finance the second disbursement of ADB’s Promoting Gender Equality in Housing Finance project meant to expand the lending operations of Kazakhstan’s Otbasy Bank and promote affordable mortgage loans to women, particularly in rural areas.
The gender gap in accessing financial services is significant, as women face more barriers, including a lack of documentation of their business operations, as well as collateral, formal identification, to obtaining basic financial services. But the pandemic put a greater strain on the existing problem.
Kazakhstan’s mortgage lending market primarily targets higher-income groups and the data shows that while nearly 4.4 million out of the 9.1 million women in Kazakhstan are economically active, they still face a significant gender pay gap of 32 percent. Women in rural areas are even more disadvantaged.
The ADB loan is the first external loan of the Otbasy Bank guaranteed by the Kazakh Ministry of Finance. The bond pays an 11 percent semiannual coupon and features a nine-year bullet maturity, redeemable in December 2030. Auctioned and listed on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, the offering was fully subscribed by domestic institutional investors.
“We welcome and celebrate ADB’s new gender bond issue, which fully aligns with our initiatives on development of the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) capital market financing in Kazakhstan,” said Kazakhstan Stock Exchange Chair Alina Aldambergen.