Hong Kong, March 28, 2023 – The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) participated in a ceremony at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) Connect Hall to celebrate the listing of a US$ 350 million World Bank Catastrophe Bond (cat bond) that provides the Government of Chile with financial protection against severe earthquake events for the next three years. This is the first World Bank bond and the first cat bond ever listed on the HKEX.
The $350 million cat bond is part of a $630 million aggregate earthquake risk coverage transaction for Chile that also includes $280 million of cat swaps. It is the largest ever single-country catastrophe risk transfer transaction. Chile’s high exposure to earthquake risks can significantly impact the government budget. This transaction offers financial resilience as part of a broader government strategy of disaster risk preparedness and fiscal responsibility.
The cat bond is supported by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (HKIA) which established a grant scheme in 2021 to encourage the development of the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market in Hong Kong.
The World Bank has brought many landmark cat bond transactions to the ILS market including the first pandemic cat bond, the largest ever sovereign cat bond transaction, and the first cat bond for a sovereign in Asia. To date, the World Bank has provided almost US$6 billion in insurance coverage for clients through risk transfer transactions.
“The Insurance Authority (IA) is pleased to be involved with this landmark issuance of catastrophe bond and swap, which is the largest of its kind for a single country led by the World Bank as well as the first insurance linked security to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange,” said Mr. Stephen Yiu, Chairman of the Hong Kong Investment Authority. “Given that the frequency and intensity of natural disasters are on the rise, Hong Kong will continue to offer staunch support as a risk management center to bolster safety and resilience of the global community.”
“Another first today, as we warmly welcome the first Catastrophe Bond to HKEX’s markets. Today’s listing of the World Bank Catastrophe Bond reflects Hong Kong’s growing attractiveness as a platform for international issuers looking to access the region’s deep and diverse funding pool,” said HKEX Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Aguzin. “This is also a particularly celebratory first, as the catastrophe bond helps to bring impactful change to communities by helping them better prepare for adversities brought about by natural disasters.”
“We are pleased to support the Government of Chile in their efforts to leverage capital markets to secure financial protection in case of earthquakes. This Catastrophe Bond is an example of how the World Bank can provide financial solutions to support the disaster risk management strategies of our member countries,” said Jorge Familiar, Vice President and Treasurer. “We are proud to have partnered with the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (HKIA) and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on this transaction that was very well-received by both the capital markets and the reinsurance market.”
This press release is not an offer for sale of securities of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“IBRD”), also known in the capital markets as “World Bank”. Any offering of World Bank bonds described herein takes place solely on the basis of the relevant offering documentation including, but not limited to, the Prospectus, the Prospectus Supplement, the Final Terms and any related legal documentation. Investing in the bonds described herein is speculative and involves a high degree of risk including the risk of a total loss of principal amount. The bonds will be offered and sold, and may be reoffered and sold, only to investors who (i) are “qualified institutional buyers” within the meaning of Rule 144A under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and (ii) are residents of and purchasing in, and will hold the bonds in, a permitted U.S. jurisdiction or a permitted non-U.S. jurisdiction (and meet the other requirements set forth under “Notice to Investors” in the Prospectus Supplement). The bonds will not transferable except in accordance with the restrictions described under “Notice to Investors” in the Prospectus Supplement.
Net proceeds of the bonds described herein are not committed or earmarked for lending to, or financing of, any particular projects or programs. Payments on the bonds described herein are not funded by any particular project or program.
About the World Bank
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization created in 1944 and the original member of the World Bank Group. It operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. It provides its members with financing, expertise and coordination services so they can achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and find effective solutions to pressing regional and global economic and environmental problems. The World Bank has two main goals: to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It seeks to achieve them primarily by providing loans, risk management products, and expertise on development-related disciplines to its borrowing member government clients in middle-income countries and other creditworthy countries, and by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. It has been issuing sustainable development bonds in the international capital markets for over 70 years to fund its activities that achieve a positive impact. Information on World Bank bonds for investors is available on the World Bank Treasury website: www.worldbank.org/debtsecurities.