Generali Investments, the asset management unit of the Italian insurer, has bought security tokens for a digital bond issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the Ethereum blockchain.

Generali Investments executed the innovative €0.5m transaction through its arm serving insurers, pension funds and endowments in Europe, Generali Insurance Asset Management, and Société Générale-FORGE, the bank’s digital asset unit, on the behalf of Generali’s French subsidiary IARD.

Carlo Trabattoni, chief executive officer of Generali Asset & Wealth Management, said: “Experimenting [with] new technologies like blockchain is crucial to gain […] strategic knowledge on how the asset management industry could benefit from the tech revolution.”

The EIB issued the experimental €100m two-year digital bond in April 2021. It has an annual coupon of 0% and was purchased using traditional fiat.

Societe Generale was a lead manager on the deal together with Santander and Goldman Sachs. The banks underwrite the security tokens issued using a representation of central bank money, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The EIB wants its digital bond issuance to spur other institutions to follow suit.

Meanwhile, the European Union has been working on designing a legal framework for crypto assets with the Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) regulation.

The European Parliament has voted in favour of opening negotiations with the EU governments on MiCA, adopting a previous decision taken by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

The members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the committee found common ground on transparency, disclosure, authorisation and supervision of transactions of crypto-assets, including asset-referenced tokens (ARTs) or stable coins, and e-money tokens.

The MEPs propose the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as the authority supervising the issuance of asset-referenced tokens, and the European Banking Authority (EBA) to supervise electronic money tokens.

The latest digital edition of IPE’s magazine  in now available