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Indonesia Issues Asia’s First Sovereign Blue Bond

Indonesia has become the first Asian sovereign to complete the issuance of a blue bond less than two years after establishing a framework to do so, with a JPY 104.8 billion (US$757 million) four-tranche Samurai transaction. Daiwa, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, Mizuho and Nikko were lead managers on the deal, one of only a few blue bonds in Asia so far. In August 2021, the government created a Sustainable Development Goals framework that allows for the issuance of blue bonds. The framework explains how Indonesia can raise blue funds, labelling high relevance projects as “navy blue” and moderate relevance projects as “sapphire blue”. The proceeds from blue bonds are typically used for ocean-related projects, marine conservation and improving water resources. Indonesia opted to sell the bonds in JPY due to the high interest in blue bonds from Japanese investors. The Seychelles sold the world’s first sovereign blue bond in 2018. Japan’s first domestic blue bond was sold by canned fish company Maruha Nichiro in October 2022. Shenzhen and Hainan each sold blue Dim Sum bonds late last year, while Eximbank Korea sold its first offshore blue bond earlier this year. The governments of Fiji and the Maldives are also looking at issuing sovereign blue bonds. 

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