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Nippon Life Announces Investment in a World Bank Sustainable Development Bond to Reduce Poverty and Boost Shared Prosperity

Tokyo, December 3, 2015 – Nippon Life Insurance Company (President: Yoshinobu Tsutsui, hereinafter “Nippon Life”) today announced the completion of a USD 81 million (approximately JPY 10 billion) private placement investment in a Sustainable Development Bond (SDB) issued by the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), Aaa/AAA).

This marks the first time that Nippon Life has invested in a World Bank SDB in a private placement format.

The World Bank’s mission is to end extreme poverty within a generation and to promote shared prosperity in such a way as to be sustainable over time and across generations. This requires promoting environmental, social and fiscal sustainability.

The World Bank raises funds in the international capital markets to finance sustainable development projects in developing countries focusing on poverty reduction and inclusive growth across a range of sectors including among others: agriculture and food security; education; energy; finance, trade and industry; healthcare and social services; law and governance; transport; and water and sanitation.

Nippon Life’s investment in the World Bank SDB supports the financing of sustainable development projects in developing countries around the world. This is consistent with Nippon Life’s social responsibility mission to promote investment into new business and growth areas in its new Three-Year Mid-term Plan (FY2015-FY2017). It is Nippon Life’s primary priority to deliver returns to its policyholders, and it will endeavor to achieve its mission by investing in the aforementioned areas, always taking into account the inherent risks that are associated with the investments.

“As an investor in World Bank Sustainable Development Bonds, Nippon Life benefits from a high quality investment that also has a positive development impact to increase living standards for all people around the world. We are very pleased to support the financing of World Bank projects across the development spectrum from child and maternal health to essential infrastructure. Since its founding, Nippon Life has adopted the philosophy of the life insurance business, “co-existence, co-prosperity and mutualism”, and we are promoting efforts in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities. We published the Action Policy regarding “Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors” (Japan’s Stewardship Code) to promote sustainable growth of investee companies through constructive dialogue. We will continue investing in a way that will be acceptable to our policyholders, maintaining an awareness to the mission and public nature of the life insurance business”, said Hiroshi Ozeki, chief investment officer, Nippon Life.

“World Bank bonds are a perfect way for portfolios such as that of Nippon Life’s to support sustainable development via their investments. With today’s investment, Nippon Life demonstrated how an investor can select investments that meets risk and return objectives plus social impact goals. This is a great example of how the private sector can be an increasingly important part of a global framework for financing development”, said Yoshiyuki Arima, Head of World Bank Treasury Japan.

"The World Bank promotes initiatives that bring together private investors with sustainable development investment opportunities, including through our own bond issuance program. We are delighted by this transaction with Nippon Life, whereby they can demonstrate support to the financing of projects to support the specific development needs of our countries from health, to education, to clean water and sanitation", said George Richardson, Head of Capital Markets World Bank.

Examples of projects supported by the World Bank Sustainable Development Bonds. The projects examples below are for illustrative purposes only and no assurance can be provided that disbursements for projects with these specific characteristics will be made by the World Bank during the lifetime of the bond.

Argentina - Provincial Public Health Insurance Development Project

Project Summary
Purpose: To improve access to health care services among 10 million uninsured people expanding plan benefits to children, adolescents and women aged 20-64 who lack health insurance.
Expected Results (include): Expand coverage to 70% of the Argentine population that currently lacks medical insurance and who find it very difficult to access health care services (up from 2010 baseline of 7%).
IBRD Financing: $400 million
Term: 2011 - 2017

The health sector in Argentina is highly fragmented with several public and private providers and sources of financing. In addition to horizontal fragmentation, Argentina’s public health sector structure faces the challenge of establishing efficient institutional arrangements to provide quality services to the poor and uninsured, with limited data records of health services provided. The Sumar program builds on earlier Bank-supported healthcare projects under the Nacer Plan and seeks to increase health care coverage among all children and women aged 20-64 who lack health insurance. It will also guarantee the financial sustainability of provincial health care programs; improve the results-based financing mechanism in order to achieve quality and equity goals; and strengthen the population’s right to access health care services. The new project includes the provision of basic maternal and children’s care, sexual health and reproductive health care services, as well as preventive and highly complex services, including surgery for congenital heart defects.

Panama - Health Equity and Performance Improvement Project

Project Summary
Purpose: To provide better health quality for mothers and their children.
Expected Results (include): Provide 200,000 beneficiaries from 47 underserved rural communities access to basic health care through mobile health units. Improve mother and child health care, including more babies under 1 year of age having complete vaccination records and more births attended by skilled personnel.
IBRD Financing: $40 million
Term: 2008 - 2014

Panama's rural poor and indigenous communities experience much worse health outcomes than the rest of the population. For example, mortality rates for children under five years old can be as have reached 2.4 higher than the national average of 19.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2008, the World Bank supported Panama's Health Equity and Performance Improvement Project. The program uses mobile health teams to provide the rural poor with continuous access to a package of health services known to improve mother and child health care. The mobile health teams were contracted with the Ministry of Health using a payment scheme that provided them incentives to reach more under-served rural populations.

Botswana National HIV/AIDS Prevention Support Project

Project Summary
Purpose: To increase the coverage, efficiency and sustainability of targeted and evidence-based HIV/AIDS interventions.
Expected Results (include): Improve national coordination of prevention activities, including strengthened accountability and financial management.
IBRD Financing: $50 million
Term: 2008 - 2015

Prevention is acknowledged by the Government of Botswana to be the weakest element of the national response to HIV/AIDS. The project supports improvements in the National AIDS Coordinating Agency's (NACA) institutional management and coordination capacity; and funds strategic and innovative HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation activities. The project also supports public sector ministries, civil society and the private sector. Some of the initiatives include enabling comprehensive in-school and teacher training, providing mobile antiretroviral clinics for the largest prisons, educational and rehabilitation efforts for orphans and other vulnerable children and strengthening existing district programs that focus on mobile populations, including truck drivers and women involved in transactional sex.

 

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 188 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 60 years to fund its activities that achieve a positive impact. Information on bonds for investors is available on the World Bank Treasury website: www.worldbank.org/debtsecurities

About Nippon Life
Nippon Life is Japan's leading private life insurer with approximate total assets of US$ 518 billion, revenues of US$ 61 billion and profits of over US$ 2.5 billion. To be certain that Nippon Life can pay future insurance claims and benefits, Nippon Life invests premiums entrusted to it from policyholders with sufficient consideration for safety, profitability, and the public nature of its business, among other factors. By spreading risk and allocating assets properly, Nippon Life aims to secure long-term stable investment returns. Nippon Life which has over 10 million policies in Japan, offers a wide range of products, including individual and group life and annuity policies through various distribution channels and mainly uses a face-to-face sales channel for its traditional insurance products. Nippon Life primarily operates in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia.

 

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