Baker McKenzie has successfully assisted the first stage of Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank's (SeABank) landmark financing package, comprising USD 150 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and USD 75 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The next stage entails seeking authority approval. This deal aims to catalyze Vietnam’s blue finance market, foster green bonds, and support small businesses to promote financial inclusion.

This investment marks the issuance of Vietnam’s first blue bonds, with IFC and AIIB each subscribing USD 25 million to enhance SeABank’s funding for sustainable ocean and water-related economic activities, including aquaculture, fisheries, and water supply. Additionally, it signifies the issuance of Vietnam’s first green bonds by a private commercial bank, with IFC and AIIB each subscribing USD 50 million to boost SeABank’s financing of green assets such as green buildings, renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency initiatives.

The Baker McKenzie team, jointly led by Partner Seck Yee Chung and Partner Nguyen Hoang Kim Oanh, with support from Special Counsel Ngo Thai Ninh (Daniel), Associate Nguyen Phuoc Anh Tram and Trainee Solicitor Dang Hoang Nguyen, advised on this transformative deal.

Commenting on the deal, Yee Chung said, “We are honored to partner with SeABank on this groundbreaking investment, which marks a major milestone for green finance in Vietnam. By introducing the first-ever blue bond issuance in the country, we have helped pave the way for a more secure future for Vietnam’s and Southeast Asia’s marine ecosystems, while simultaneously fostering economic growth for a more sustainable and inclusive financial future.”

This transaction adds to Baker McKenzie’s growing list of green and sustainable finance transactions in Vietnam and across the region. This includes advising BIM Land Joint Stock Company and Thanh Xuan Joint Stock Company on Vietnam’s first local-currency sustainability bonds, acting for CapitaLand Investment’s inaugural sustainability-linked panda bond, and advising an international banking group on PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero)'s first USD 700 million sustainability-linked loan.

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