World Bank chief eyes corporate philanthropy to raise funds

These could add billions of dollars in lending via capital leverage, while private interest is still early to estimate, he said.

A panel appointed by the Indian presidency of the G-20 has estimated that $3 trillion is needed every year through 2030 for issues including debt relief to low-income countries and to fight climate change. About $1 trillion of that will have to be in external financing, contributed equally by development financing and private capital.

Multilateral lenders need to channel an additional $260 billion though their key shareholders such as the US and Japan have stopped short of pledging fresh capital.

With Banga just weeks into his formal appointment in the role, investors had been awaiting details of how the World Bank, which deployed $115 billion in fiscal year 2022, would bridge the funding gap.

The portfolio guarantee program will allow shareholder countries to take over risk in a project cluster or country without having to put up capital, Banga said. Hybrid capital or bonds with special leveraging potential will be treated as capital by rating companies, allowing the bank to expand funding without losing its triple AAA rating.

“If you give me a dollar of hybrid capital, I could free up $6 billion to $7 billion of lending over the course of a decade,” he said.

Private investment in bank-supported projects and contributions to the bank itself are also options under consideration. Potential backers could be philanthropies and even companies, like in India, which are committed to corporate social responsibility spending. “We are looking at all the avenues to unlock capital creatively to make a difference,” Banga said.

Multilateral institutions could raise twice as much as the 60 cents in private capital they currently do for each dollar they lend, according to the expert panel report.

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