Allocators, and pandas, expected to show interest in first bamboo-backed bond

The West is now well used to ‘panda diplomacy’, where Beijing builds relationships overseas by giving foreign zoos pandas. Investors can also participate now, indirectly at least, via bonds linked to every panda’s favourite lunch – bamboo.

London-based ethical investment consultants Emerald Knight is launching what they claim is the world’s first bond with secure claim over a plantation of the fast-growing plant, held in trust by UK trustees.

The advantages of basing the investment on crops of bamboo, rather than slower growing alternatives, they add, is that bamboo reaches its full height within one year, and reaches full maturity within four years.

It produces 20 times more timber per hectare than any other timber.

And marketing material on Emerald Knight’s website says it is “among the most sustainable forms of hardwood on the planet, and demand for it has multiplied 25 times over 40 years”.

A crackdown on illegal logging of bamboo is expected to fuel the rising price trend, they say.

Finally, Emerald Knight notes bamboo is effective at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, absorbing “over 500 tones of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per hectare every 15 years”.

And for pandas, it also has the distinct benefit of being delicious.

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