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Bank of Asia CJSC aims to issue the first gender bonds to the International Women's Entrepreneurship Day

7 September 2022

As part of the strategy for sustainable development, Bank of Asia CJSC plans to issue gender bonds to support women entrepreneurs of the Kyrgyz Republic by financing business projects.

For these purposes, the Department of Political and Economic Research of the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic and the UN Women organization together with the Bank of Asia held the second round table meeting on the development of social bonds in the Kyrgyz Republic on September 6, 2022.

The meeting was attended by Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Institute for Economic Policy Research of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange, UN Women, UN RCO, the World Bank, USAID, ADB, KfW, IFC, KOICA, the European Union Representative Office in the Kyrgyz Republic, the EDB Representative Office in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Aga Khan Development Organization in the Kyrgyz Republic, World Food Program, Astana Green Finance Center (GFC), GFC Representative Office in Bishkek, Senti Insurance Company.

The Head of the Department of Political and Economic Research of the Office of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, A.N. Isanov opened the round table meeting and mentioned the importance of issuing social bonds and their possibilities. He said: "Kyrgyzstan has all the conditions for the development of ESG bonds and today Bank of Asia CJSC will become the first issuing bank of social gender bonds, which will be aimed at developing the woman’s business and improving their life. As reflected in the Sustainable Development Goal, the achieving gender equality is crucial for the progress of humanity and the full realization of its potential".

Bank of Asia presented the project of issuing gender bonds, objectives of the program, volume of placement, criteria for selecting financing facilities, as well as the roadmap of the project. Participants from international organizations received an offer to participate in subsidizing the coupon rate to reduce the cost of resources in order to support and develop small and medium-sized businesses of women entrepreneurs. The participants such as the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange noted the importance and great prospects for the development of the sustainable bond market as a driver of the development of the green economy of Kyrgyzstan.

The UN Women organization is actively involved in the promotion of this project, which assisted in the development of criteria for the selection of women entrepreneurs and facilitating the process of preparing the launch of the first gender bonds, and will also actively participate in further monitoring and evaluation , immediately before considering financing projects. Ulziysuren Zhamsran, a representative of the UN Women structure in Kyrgyzstan, noted: "The issue of gender social bonds will become a powerful support for women entrepreneurs. It is necessary to support and expand the participation of women in business, helping them to scale their business. Women are the decisive agents of change, and their empowerment will benefit the whole society."

  Following the meeting, all participants expressed support for the project of issuing gender bonds. In particular, international organizations such as USAID, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, IFC, UN Women, and others have reached an agreement to provide technical support to the project and support in determining the criteria for financing projects and in further monitoring the social-economic effect of the project.

 For information:

One of the differences between the issue of social bonds from the classic ones is that the former are target bonds, the funds raised from which will be directed to social projects, and are issued in accordance with International Principles established by the International Association of Capital Markets (ICMA). The verification of the social bond issue project will be carried out by the Astana GFC Green Finance Center, the only company in Central Asia accredited by ICMA and Climate Bonds Initiative. For example, according to the GFC, 60% of green bonds and loans in the Kazakhstan market have been verified by the Green Finance Center and have received international recognition No. 1 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia according to the Global Green Finance Index.






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