Swedish asset owners have invested 3 billion Swedish kronor ($319 million) in a social bond that supports emerging markets-based companies whose businesses have been hit by the coronavirus.
The bond was issued by the International Finance Corp., separate news releases by the three Stockholm-based investors said.
The 928 billion kronor Alecta Pensionsforsakring invested 2 billion kronor; the 455 billion kronor Folksam Group invested 700 million kronor; and insurance company Lansforsakringar AB invested 300 million kronor in the bond.
IFC's bond targets companies in emerging markets that are involved in the production and delivery of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. It aims to ensure that supply chains can be maintained as the virus continues to spread. The IFC is part of the World Bank that targets the private sector in emerging markets. The bond forms part of the World Bank's $14 billion pledge to support countries and corporations hit by the outbreak of the virus.
"Through this investment, we contribute to both counteract the negative effects of COVID-19 and to create security for companies and their employees. This type of investment in social bonds benefits both communities and our customers in the long term," Tony Persson, head of the interest and strategy group at Alecta, said in a release.
"We want to support various (organizations) and countries to take measures to minimize the tragic effects of COVID-19 as far as possible," Kristofer Dreiman, head of responsible investments at LFAB, said in a separate release. "In the long-term, private capital can complement (public capital), and help secure jobs and reduce the health and economic effects of the virus outbreak."