EBRD and EU support the issue of the first ever gender bond on Georgia’s capital market

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are proud to announce the third winner to receive a grant through the capital market support programme – JSC Microfinance Organization Crystal’s GEL 25 million social bond is the first ever gender bond issuance on Georgia’s capital market. 

100% of the proceeds from the gender bond will be used to finance loans to woman-owned MSMEs, including providing climate change loans for the purchase of energy efficient and renewable energy equipment and acquiring fixed assets or investing in working capital. Therefore, the gender bond will aim to improve the provision of innovative financial services and expand the credit portfolio of existing and potential customers in this target segment across Georgia's regions. 

Crystal will receive a generous contribution from the European Union to co-finance issuance-related fees. The support mechanism is being implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and undertaken by the program contractors, Galt & Taggart, together with BDO Georgia

The transaction was in line with the broader strategic goals of the program, which include promotion of the local capital market development in Georgia as well as support of Environmental, Social, and governance-related issuances and values. 

The offering was closed on February 8, 2023. The notes are GEL-denominated with a 2-year maturity bullet structure and carry a TIBR6m+4.75% coupon. The bonds were issued and sold at par value. 

"We are celebrating another important milestone for Crystal and Georgia’s capital market: issuing GEL 25 million in certified social bonds intended to enhance gender equality and women's empowerment. We would like to express our gratitude to the program’s donors and supporters - the European Union, EBRD, Galt & Taggart, and BDO. The program incentivized us to create another success story for Georgia’s leading financial inclusion organization," - Ilia Revia, Crystal’s chief executive officer. 

In 2022, the program supported Georgian Renewable Power Operations’ US$ 80 million green secured bond and Microfinance Organization Micro Business Capital’s GEL 15 million bond issuances on Georgia’s capital market.