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QBE weighs up gender equality bond issuance

QBE is considering its first issue of a gender equality bond, after last month releasing a framework for the investments.

The insurer has mandated Morgan Stanley, HSBC and Credit Agricole for the proposed perpetual fixed-rate capital notes, which would be issued under QBE’s $US4 billion ($5.2 billion) medium-term note program.

“If a transaction eventuates, pricing and further details in relation to the notes will be the subject of a further announcement,” the company says.

The cornerstone of a gender equality bond is the use of the proceeds, QBE’s framework document says.

Eligible investment targets are rated on gender leadership criteria, including that bond-issuing companies are a signatory to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Issuing companies should also be recognised in the Equileap 2017 Gender Equality Global Report and Ranking.

QBE is among 1648 companies globally that have signed on to the seven empowerment principles, which include establishing high-level corporate leadership for gender equality and promoting education, training and professional development for women.