IFC and T. Rowe Price to launch blue bond strategy

Strategy to build on UN Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 6

IFC and T. Rowe Price have released plans to create a blue bond strategy within emerging markets, which the firms hope will increase access to finance for the projects and improve standards for what they call a “nascent” blue bond market.

Blue investments encompass returns that support the health, productivity, and sustainability of oceans and water resources. The strategy, dubbed the T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Blue Economy Bond strategy, will follow a set of guidelines jointly developed by the IFC and T. Rowe price to reach its impact goals. It also falls in line with the IFC’s established guidelines which were released in January 2022.

Makhtar Diop, IFC managing director, said: “The investor capital deployed into blue bonds through T. Rowe Price Blue will make a vital contribution to furthering a blue economy. This first-of-its-kind strategy with a dedicated vehicle for blue investment will also be critical in promoting sustainable capital markets in emerging markets and developing economies.”

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The IFC has invested over $1.4bn (£1.1bn) in 12 blue bonds and loans since 2020, soon to be joined by the T. Rowe Price strategy. It will also use the IFC-managed Technical Assistance Facility, which aids in the issuance blue bonds.

Rob Sharps, CEO and president of T. Rowe Price, said: “We are proud to partner with IFC to further the blue economy. We’re gratified that our emerging markets investment experience can be leveraged in such a meaningful, innovative, and important way, providing opportunities for positive investment returns while supporting sustainable capital markets and preserving valuable water resources for generations to come.”

The companies hope the bonds will build on UN SDG 6, to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation’ and SDG 14, to ‘conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources’.