BII Doubles Down on Green Support for Emerging Markets with Second Basket Bond

$75 million initiative targets India and expands financing for climate-friendly MSMEs

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, has announced a $75 million commitment to a second Green Basket Bond initiative alongside Symbiotics Investments. This program aims to boost financing for small-scale green projects across Africa and South-East Asia, with a particular focus on India.

Building on the success of the first Green Basket Bond launched in 2022, this collaboration leverages Symbiotics’ global network and BII’s extensive experience as an impact investor. The target is to support an additional 10-15 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that fall outside BII’s usual investment scale. BII’s Technical Assistance facility will also contribute over $460,000 to bolster the climate financing expertise of these MSME lenders.

The initiative comes amidst growing urgency in the fight against climate change. India, especially vulnerable to extreme weather events and rising sea levels, requires significant investment in green projects. However, many green MSMEs struggle to secure financing, with the funding gap in India estimated at a staggering $530 billion. This new Green Basket Bond aims to bridge this gap by providing much-needed capital for green businesses and projects, propelling India towards its sustainability goals.

Similar to the first bond, funding will flow towards projects spanning renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, green buildings, sustainable agriculture and forestry.

Samir Abhyankar, Managing Director and Head of Financial Services Group at BII, highlighted the initiative’s significance: “Partnering with Symbiotics on a second green basket bond strengthens our commitment to empowering smaller financial institutions and fostering sustainable development in regions vulnerable to climate change. Channelling capital effectively not only supports local businesses and projects but also contributes to global efforts in building resilience against climate change. The program’s expansion is a testament to the initial partnership’s success, and we look forward to collaborating further with Symbiotics to mobilize more private capital into this crucial space.”

Yvan Renaud, CEO of Symbiotics Investments, echoed this sentiment: “We are deeply grateful to BII for partnering with us on this second green basket bond. We firmly believe that financing dedicated MSME lenders and reaching smaller local businesses and projects significantly enhances the effectiveness of climate finance. We hope this initiative will have a catalytic effect, mobilizing capital for similar projects that play a vital role in tackling climate change and its consequences.”

The first Green Basket Bond successfully supported 11 MSME lenders across India, Vietnam, Cambodia, several African nations, and Nepal. This second issuance contributes to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and 13 (Climate Action).