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The Singapore Exchange (SGX) hosted a ceremony to celebrate the listing of two World Bank Philippines Catastrophe Bonds (cat bonds) which finance up to US$225 million of financial protection against earthquakes and

tropical cyclones for the Republic of the Philippines over the next three years. This is the first World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) bond ever listed on SGX, the first cat bond ever listed on an Asian exchange, and the first cat bond ever sponsored by an Asian sovereign.

Asia is home to roughly one-third of the world’s natural catastrophes. The negative impact of catastrophes on the region’s economy is exacerbated when governments are forced to divert money from other developmental priorities to finance disaster response and recovery. When large events strike poor countries, the impact of this fiscal strain on government budgets can last for years, or even decades.

The World Bank cat bonds for the Philippines, which are supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), are an example of how the capital markets can provide financial solutions to address this insurance gap.

The World Bank has played a key role in developing the ILS market. The World Bank first entered the catastrophe bond market in 2009 advising a sovereign client on cat bonds to address the financial impact of earthquakes and hurricanes. In 2014, the World Bank issued its first cat bond.  Since then, including the cat bond issuance for the Philippines, the World Bank has provided almost US$4.5 billion in insurance coverage for clients through risk transfer market transactions, all of which offer risk diversification for investors.