Vaccine Isa launched for retail investors

The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIM) has launched the Vaccine Investment Isa. IFFIM aims to raise £50m to vaccinate children in the world’s poorest countries through the issuance of “vaccine bonds” to retail investors.

Funds raised will be used by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), a public-private partnership supporting vaccination programmes in 70 developing countries. Money will be used to fight a range of life-threatening diseases, including diptheria, hepatitis, measles and polio.

The launch of the Isa follows the extension of qualifying investment rules announced in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report – investors are now able to hold securities issued by multilateral development institutions in the tax wrapper.

Minimum investment is £1,000, and investors not entitled to an Isa allowance can invest up to £999,999 in the Vaccine Investment Plan. The Isa and the Plan were designed by HSBC, in collaboration with IFFIM, Gavi and the World Bank.

Both products aim to generate a “competitive” fixed return of 16.2%, together with the full return of original capital at the end of their fixed five years and one month terms. The World Bank acts as IFFIM’s treasury manager.

IFFIM – which is supported by the governments of Britain, France, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden – has raised over $1.6 billion (£1.1 billion) to support Gavi since its launch in 2006. A bond offering to Japanese retail investors last month raised $429m.