L-R: Nicolas Mackel (LFF); Colleen Keenan (World Bank); Julie Becker (LuxSE); Jingdong Hua (World Bank); Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna; Robert Scharfe ( LuxSE); Flavia Micilotta (LuxSE); Judith Bogner (Master of Ceremony); Credit: LGX

While finance professionals gathered in the Luxembourg Philharmonie on Wednesday to promote sustainable finance, the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX) marked an historic display of sustainable development bonds issued by the World Bank.

Luxembourg For Finance organised the second edition of its Sustainable Finance Forum on Wednesday 26 June 2019. The full-day conference set the stage for a special "Ring the Bell" ceremony marking the World Bank’s choice of LGX as the platform of reference to display its sustainable development bonds.

LGX, a platform dedicated exclusively to green, social and sustainable financial instruments, now displays 174 World Bank sustainable development bonds, representing a total amount of more than €40 billion. This step brings the number of green and sustainable development bonds issued by the World Bank and displayed on LGX beyond the 200 mark.     

Julie Becker, Member of the Executive Committee at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), commented: “The World Bank has played a leading role in the development of sustainable finance. Together with a handful of other organisations, it has pioneered the industry. The display of these sustainable development bonds on LGX is yet another example of the World Bank’s commitment to mobilising capital markets for sustainable development”.

LGX has displayed green bonds issued by the World Bank for a number of years, but so far has not included any of the World Bank’s sustainable development bonds. Over the past two years, LGX and the World Bank worked closely together to analyse in detail all World Bank bonds listed on the LuxSE. This review process resulted in a selection of 174 bonds issued by the World Bank that comply with the transparency requirements and processes defined for financial securities displayed on LGX.

Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank gave a keynote speech at the Sustainable Finance Forum and ended his address by ringing the bell for the sustainable development bonds. He commented: “The World Bank has twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. All bonds issued by the World Bank support the financing of sustainable development projects which are designed intentionally to achieve positive impact. The display of our sustainable development bonds on the LGX platform marks an important step in our efforts to promote and grow sustainable capital markets and advance transparency”. 

The cooperation between the World Bank and the LuxSE began in 1953, when the World Bank listed its first financial instrument in Luxembourg. In 2008, the World Bank contributed to paving the way for sustainable finance by issuing its first-ever green bond. More recently, in May this year, the World Bank issued a €1.5 billion ten-year global sustainable development bond, also listed on the LuxSE.