Japan’s Nippon Life backs Chilean bond focused on female entrepreneurship

Latest in a series of ESG investments from insurance giant

Nippon Life, Japan’s largest life insurance company, has invested in a ¥4.5bn (€39m) women’s entrepreneurship bond in Chile – the latest in a series of investments focused on environmental, social and governance factors.

The bond was issued by the state-owned Banco del Estado de Chile via private placement to foster women as entrepreneurs and it is the first time the Japanese giant has invested in women’s bonds.

The bond investment will mainly support the Crece Mujer Emprendedora program started in 2015 by the Chilean bank, which issues loans for businesswomen and trains them in business and management skills.

Nippon Life, which is promoting women’s careers in its own management strategy for sustainable growth, aims at fostering economic growth and revitalisation in Chile through the investment.It’s the latest in a run of ESG-themed investments by Nippon Life, whose Nissay Asset Management arm is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment. In May it completed a $93m investment in an Asian credit fund managed by Schroders that integrates ESG factors. It has also bought into green bonds issued by Paris and Transport for London.

Carlos Martabit, chief financial officer at the Banco del Estado de Chile, said: “We are very pleased that Nippon Life, actively engaged in ESG investment, has invested into our women’s bonds.

“Fifty-eight percent of our customers are women and 38% of small and medium companies’ loans are taken by companies managed by women. The investment of Nippon Life reflects our common point of view and understanding towards the bank’s approach and thinking in supporting women.” Link (Japanese)