Investors now have access to a growing sector of the sustainable forestry industry through what is said to be the world’s first asset-backed bamboo bond.
Because it grows so rapidly and spreads so quickly, it’s often viewed as an invasive problem in the US, but those qualities make it an important industrial product that’s providing green alternatives to traditional forestry.
The bamboo market is currently worth about $5 billion a year and is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2015.
Property Frontiers is marketing a 15-year bond to retail investors – a SIPP eligible investment in Central America bamboo with fixed annual returns starting in year one. It’s partnering with EcoPlanet Group, which develops sustainable forestry projects.
By using a bond structure, investors receive fixed annual interest payments as well as their original investment back on redemption. This means, investors will get up to 503% and exceptional security – against both the asset and the income, says Property Frontiers.
This first investment offer is limited to $12 million – $3.5 million has been secured in its first week.
According to Property Frontiers, a Yale University forecast states that one hectare will produce over 109 km of bamboo pole in 15 years.
With its quick growth, excellent strength and durability, environmental benefits and around 3,500 commercial uses, bamboo is considered a good alternative to many of the social and environmental concerns within the tradition timber industry.
According to the UN, around 130,000km² of the world’s forests are lost due to deforestation each year, a devastating reality for the estimated 1.6 billion people that depend on forests for their livelihoods.
Some 300 million people live in forests and they provide habitats for about two-thirds of all species on earth. Rainforest deforestation accounts for a biodiversity loss of as many as 100 species per day according to The World Bank.
With this in mind, sustainable management of forests is ever more pressing.
"With global warming on the horizon becoming one of the most important issues our generation will be faced with, bamboo plantations present a far better alternative, as people shun traditionally felled wood products in favour of the environmentally friendly choice," says Ray Withers, Director of Property Frontiers.
Learn more about the bond: