Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) announced today the issuance of a $1 billion social bond to support affordable housing projects, the latest step in the Firm’s ongoing strategy to advance market-based solutions to address sustainability challenges. This issuance follows the inaugural green bond issued by Morgan Stanley in 2015, which supported various renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Morgan Stanley intends to allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds of the social bond to affordable housing projects, which aim to provide housing at affordable rates to low- or moderate-income individuals and/or families in the United States.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has unduly burdened many of our most vulnerable communities, affordable housing for individuals and families has never been more critical,” said Morgan Stanley Treasurer John Ryan. “The proceeds from this offering will help deliver and preserve housing solutions across the United States, and empower investors to make a positive social impact.”
Morgan Stanley’s inaugural social bond is part of the Firm’s decade-long leadership in sustainable finance, which includes the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, established in 2013 to accelerate the mainstream adoption of sustainable investing. The Firm also has a track record of issuing and supporting innovative bonds that raise capital for positive environmental and societal impact. In 2013, the Firm helped support the first ever corporate green bond and in 2017, the Firm priced the first public market bond deal for a community development financial institution (CDFI) to help advance economic opportunity in underserved neighborhoods around the United States.
“Morgan Stanley has a long standing commitment to harnessing the capital markets to strengthen communities and create opportunity,” said Tom Nides, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley. “Financial innovations like the Morgan Stanley Social Bond are an important part of the solution to bring capital at scale to address critical challenges, including the growing need for affordable housing in our communities.”
Morgan Stanley's Social Bond Framework, designed in-line with the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles, 2020, outlines the process through which the projects are selected, with the aim of helping to ensure that the Morgan Stanley social bond operates with high levels of transparency and disclosure. Morgan Stanley appointed an independent second-party opinion provider to review the Social Bond Framework and this social bond. Project updates and impact-focused reporting for this issuance will be made available on a dedicated website.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.
About the Institute for Sustainable Investing
The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing (The Institute) builds scalable finance solutions that seek to deliver competitive financial returns while driving positive environmental and social impact. Founded in 2013, The Institute creates innovative financial products, thoughtful insights and capacity building programs that help maximize capital to create a more sustainable future. For more information about the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, visit www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting.
Please note that there is currently no legal, regulatory or similar definition of what constitutes a “social” bond or as to what precise attributes are required for a particular issuance to be defined as “social.” Without limiting any of the statements contained herein, Morgan Stanley makes no representation or warranty as to whether a bond constitutes a social bond, unless otherwise specified by Morgan Stanley, or whether a bond conforms to investor expectations or objectives for investing in social bonds. For information on characteristics of a specific social bond, use of proceeds, a description of applicable projects and/or any other relevant information about the bond, please reference the offering documents for the bond.
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