November 13, 2017 / 8:12 AM / a year ago

QBE Insurance issues 1st U.S. dollar-denominated 'gender equality bond'

HONG KONG, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Australia’s QBE Insurance Group drew applications of more than $8.25 billion for a $400 million “gender equality bond”, bankers said, in a deal that offered high returns while promoting socially responsible investing.

Bonds like the ones QBE sold invest in paper issued by companies that support workplace gender equality.

The QBE bond, a capital note that is eligible for inclusion as the financial institution’s additional Tier 1 Capital, is the first “gender equality bond” issued in U.S. dollars, euro or yen, a banker involved in the deal said.

In March, National Australia Bank issued a gender equality bond that was the first of its kind, the banker said. That bond was denominated in Australian dollars.

QBE’s perpetual bond, callable after 7-1/2 years, was priced last week at a yield of 5.25 percent, 50 basis points inside the initial price guidance following the strong orders.

In secondary trading, the bonds traded as high as 101.50 cents on the dollar, reflecting strong investor backing. (Reporting by Umesh Desai; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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