Wednesday 24th August 2016
GBA member in Chile BancoEstado recently issued a second offering of its 10-year fixed-rate Women Bond, on the heels of an initial JPY10 billion (US$94.2 million) offering in Japanese markets in June. The second issuance of JPY15 billion (US$147 million) came as a result of extremely positive reception of the first bonds among Japanese investors and markets.
The June issuance marked the first-ever SRI women bond offering by a Chilean bank in any market and the first 10-year offering from a Chilean institution in Japanese markets. Proceeds from the bonds will be directed back into BancoEstado’s Women’s Market program, which has a strong track record of serving women customers and business owners.
The bank has been a champion for women in Chile, launching its Crece Mujer Emprendedora Program in 2015. The program supports women entrepreneurs as a distinct segment, with the aim of reducing the credit access gap, improving management competencies for business growth, and strengthening social and business networks. The program provides a series of financial and non-financial products that target women, including a web portal, technical assistance and training. Currently, 53 percent of BancoEstado’s clients are women, with 42 percent of mortgage loans and 53 percent of student loans going to women. Internally, women represent 47 percent of total staff members and 34 percent of management. BancoEstado is also the only bank in the country led by a woman General Manager.
“This bond issuance is an important milestone, not just for BancoEstado, but also for our financial system and for our country.” said Jessica López Saffie, Executive General Manager of BancoEstado. “Our commitment to women is not only demonstrated through this issuance but by our performance both internally and externally. These positive achievements are not due to chance, but are a result of conscious decision making. We will continue working to overcome the major obstacles to greater female participation in the financial system.”
With this offering, BancoEstado has furthered its reputation for banking on women and staked its claim as a pioneer for SRI in Latin America. The bank plans to issue additional international bonds in the coming years.