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Posted on February 25, 2022 | Updated at 10AM

IDB Invest, FinDev Canada and BNCR join forces to issue first Social Bond in Costa Rica



IDB Invest has structured a US$75 million subordinated social bond issue to be issued by the Costa Rican National Bank (Banco Nacional de Costa Rica – BNCR). The bonds will be issued in two series and will be subscribed as follows: US$45 million from IDB Invest and US$30 million from FinDev Canada.

The transaction seeks to strengthen BNCR’s capital structure through a new injection of secondary capital to facilitate access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Costa Rica. At least 40% of the proceeds of the issue will be used to finance the female segment in MSMEs. This is the first issue of a social bond in Costa Rica and the first social bond issued by BNCR.

As part of the bond issuance process, IDB Invest advised BNCR in designing the methodological framework for the use of funds, which contains the criteria for project selection, monitoring, and evaluation, aligned with the social bond principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA). BNCR obtained an independent verification of the methodological framework, known as a second-party opinion, issued by V.E., an external consultant specialized in this type of project.

FinDev Canada assisted BNCR in the development of a strategic gender plan and conducted a gender gap assessment with the support of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) tool. This strategic plan will allow for the strengthening and expansion of BNCR’s financial product offerings for women. The operation is expected to contribute to five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). No poverty (SDG 1), Gender equality (SDG 5), Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), Industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9), and Reduced inequalities (SDG 10).

About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of US$13.1 billion in assets under management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that respond to the needs of its clients in a variety of sectors.

About BNCR

BNCR is the largest commercial bank in Costa Rica. It was founded in 1914 and is owned by the State of Costa Rica. It has 170 branches throughout the country, more than 400 ATMs, more than 1,200 businesses affiliated to BN Services and more than 6,000 employees. In addition to its banking business, BNCR is also active in insurance, mutual fund management, stockbroking, and pension management. BNCR has a robust franchise that has benefited from sovereign support, as reflected in the confidence of depositors that their deposits are guaranteed by the Costa Rican government.

About FinDev Canada

FinDev Canada is a development finance institution dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries to combat poverty through economic growth with a focus on the following areas: economic development through job creation, women economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. FinDev Canada is a subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC). More information about FinDev Canada available on