Johannesburg, 23 August 2022 – Barloworld, an industrial processing, distribution and services company with two primary areas of focus: Industrial Equipment & Services and Consumer Industries (food and ingredient solutions), has listed two gender bonds on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The listing will help the company to increase the participation of women in its leadership structures and supply chain.
From the sale of the three-year and five-year bonds, which trade under the codes BAWGL1 and BAWGL2 on the JSE’s Sustainability Segment, Barloworld aims to raise R1.1 billion to finance the company’s women empowerment initiatives.
The 120-year-old company has an ambition of reaching or exceeding 50% female representation in its leadership by 2025 while at the same time boosting discretionary procurement spend on black-women suppliers to reach or exceed 15% of its total procurement spend.
Valdene Reddy, JSE’s Director of Capital Markets, says she hopes that more issuers will follow the lead of Barloworld and list gender-linked bonds on the JSE to support women empowerment and gender equality.
“I am thrilled that this listing happened in August, which in our country’s calendar is designated as Women’s Month. I am hopeful that the listing of this first-ever gender bond will encourage more companies to come to the JSE to list instruments that aim to close gender inequality,” says Reddy.
“The launch of the first gender-based bond with gender-specific KPIs in Africa is a testament to Barloworld’s commitment to continue its drive towards creating gender diversity in its employee composition at all levels and to grow participation of women-owned businesses in the economy through its supply chain,” explains Relebohile Malahleha, Executive Strategic Finance, and Treasury at Barloworld.
The gender bond issued by Barloworld has brought the number of sustainability instruments listed on the JSE’s Sustainability Segment to 47, raising the segment’s market capitalisation to over R26.2 billion.
The JSE launched the Sustainability Segment in June 2020 with the aim of providing a platform for companies to raise debt for green, social, and other sustainable initiatives. The segment makes it accessible and easier for companies to list and trade sustainability-related instruments to raise funds for activities directed at sustainable development.
In its pre-listing documents, Barloworld said it aspired to become a company that instilled a high-performance culture that reflected the demographics of the countries in which it operates. South Africa, the company’s home market, is ranked 18 of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s overall Gender Gap Score.
“This landmark transaction highlights the commitment we have made towards gender equity, a key enabler for poverty alleviation in our country, to ensure that the greater part of our society is economically active. We support the premise of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 of equality based on the knowledge that when most individuals in our society are self-sufficient, the entire world prospers,” concludes Malahleha.
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