JPMorgan development arm eyes vaccine supply chain, gender-focused lending

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FILE PHOTO: A J.P. Morgan logo is seen in New York City

By Tom Arnold

LONDON (Reuters) -JPMorgan’s development finance institution, which aims to fund more than $100 billion in activities per year, is looking to back more supply chain deals to help fight COVID-19 in developing countries, a bank executive told Reuters.

Some emerging markets such as India have struggled with supplies of vaccines and other medical equipment during the pandemic.

“We’d like to do more transactions that have development and impact at their heart,” said Faheen Allibhoy, managing director of the institution.

The vaccine supply chain, gender-focused lending, water and food security, and climate-smart agriculture are areas where the institution will look to focus, Allibhoy said.

The JPMorgan Development Finance Institution was set up last year and aims to fund more than $100 billion annually in development activities from investment banking deals, with extra contributions from its markets businesses.

In 2020, the institution was involved in financing 437 development finance transactions worth a total of $146 billion.

It has helped with bonds for the governments of Morocco and the Dominican Republic, where the funds raised are aimed at helping companies affected by the pandemic and financing the state budget, respectively.

In 2021, it is also focusing on more deals where the bank acts as a financing structuring agent, having in February completed its first in Africa, a $620 million deal involving Liquid Telecom, Allibhoy said.

This month, the bank announced plans to finance and facilitate more than $2.5 trillion over 10 years to advance long-term solutions that fight climate change and contribute to sustainable development.

That includes supporting deals that help with improving quality of life in developing countries, with the aim of helping reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in emerging economies.

The deals the development finance arm was involved in during 2020 helped with the majority of the 17 SDGs, it said.

(Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

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