Capital markets News

Major Japanese retailer Marui issues direct digital green bond via Securitize

marui oioi department store

Marui (OIOI), the large Japanese department store, issued a digital green bond in May. Not only did it use blockchain, but it was also directly issued to its customers as investors, with Securitize Japan providing the blockchain platform. Besides the digital bond, the green investment also has a blockchain angle.

It was a small digital bond issuance of just Yen 170 million ($1.1 million) with the investment available to Marui’s EPOS credit card holders. The 1% interest on the bond is partially paid in EPOS points and partly in real money.

The bond proceeds are intended to purchase a renewable energy power plant, although the small print also allows for energy efficient building upgrades. Marui is partnering with Updater (formerly Minna Denryoku or Minden) for the renewable energy plant. Updater has a blockchain-based platform, Enection 2.0, which tracks the source of renewable energy, allowing business buyers to pair electricity sales with energy attribute certificates (EACs) for green energy.

Marui is also an investor in Updater and has a seat on its board.

The consumer-targeted bond comes with an additional loyalty angle. If the investor or their family is also a Minna Denryoku electricity customer, they get an extra 200 EPOS points, equivalent to 10,000 yen ($63).

Last year, Marui partnered with Securitize for its first digital bond issuance, which was twenty times oversubscribed. While it wasn’t a green bond it was for social purposes, which appeals to its main 25-30 year old customer base. Securitize is the company that helped BlackRock issue its first digital fund.

Image Copyright: Deposit Photos