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BII and Symbiotics launch second green bond fund focused on India’s clean energy transition

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Published: 27 June 2024

British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution, is funding a second green bond arranged by Symbiotics, lending to MSME banks supporting India’s green energy goals.

The new fund will support green projects that span renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, green buildings, agriculture, and forestry | lakshmiprasad S on istock

British International Investment (BII) is funding a second $75m (€70.2m) Green Basket Bond with impact investment platform Symbiotics Investments, which will provide loans to micro, small & medium enterprise (MSME) lenders providing loans to borrowers focused on supporting India’s energy transition goals. 

The new programme, which comes after the launch of the first green basket bond in 2022, will support new MSME lenders not included in the first bond, with a particular focus on India. 

“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,” said Samir Abhyankar, managing director and head of financial services at BII.

“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,” Abhyankar added. 

As part of the green basket bond package, BII will also provide an additional $460,000 through its technical assistance facility to enable the MSME lenders to further develop their climate financing expertise.

The MSME lenders will direct their lending to small businesses that usually find it difficult to access funding, and even more so for green projects. 

This latest funding will support green projects that span renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, green buildings, agriculture, and forestry. 

Furthermore, BII said it will also continue to leverage Symbiotics’ global network and support an additional 10 to 15 MSME lenders who require smaller investment capital than BII is typically able to fund directly. 

Green rural projects

Symbiotics’ green bond structure enables small green projects in rural areas, such as micro-solar equipment through MSME lenders, and has originated over 7,900 investments representing more than $10bn for 598 companies in 97 countries since 2005.

Yvan Renaud, CEO of Symbiotics, said 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,” said Renaud.

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