Access Bank announces dual listing of N15b corporate green bond
Access Bank Plc has announced a dual listing of a fully certified green bond on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). This follows the formal approval of the bond by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The N15 billion, five-year fixed rate senior unsecured green bond is the first of its kind to be issued by an African corporate and represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market. Rated AA- by Agusto & Co, the underlying framework is verified by PwC (UK) and certified by the Climate Bond Initiative as having met the global climate bonds standard, the bond issuance was fully subscribed by way of book build and priced at a coupon of 15.5 per cent.
The listing of the bond closely follows the completion of the bank’s merger with Diamond bank and the launch of its new brand identity that fuses the Bank and Diamond Bank’s visual identities symbolizing their shared philosophy. The green bond issuance highlights the bank’s commitment to sustainability and its status as a pioneer in green financing in both the domestic and international capital markets.
The bond comes amidst a global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing and will allow the financing of new loans and refinancing of existing loans in accordance with the bank’s green bond framework. It will support projects directed at flood defense, solar generation facilities and agriculture.
Speaking at the listing, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said: “At Access Bank we are a pioneer in both domestic and international capital markets, leading the way with our commitment to sustainable banking. We hope that this bond issuance inspires other African companies to support the long-term development of the green finance market whilst simultaneously realizing the growth potential of the fast-developing low carbon economy.”
Praising Access Bank’s efforts in promoting sustainability in Africa through the financing of green projects, the Climate Bonds Deputy CEO , Justine Leigh-Bell said:
“This first Climate Bond certified corporate green bond out of Africa represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market. In addition to being an inspiration to other private companies, the leadership demonstrated by Access Bank is critical for the long term development of the green finance market in Nigeria and a great example for other African nations to follow.”
The Associate Executive Director, Capital Markets, FMDQ, Ms. Tumi Sekoni, whilst welcoming the guests at FMDQ congratulated the issuer for the successful issue of the pioneer climate bond certified green bond in the Nigerian Debt Capital Market (DCM).
Sekoni highlighted that this green bond would help address climate and environmental challenges in a sustainable manner to deliver prosperity for Nigerians and further deepen the domestic DCM by increasing the range of investible debt securities in the markets, invariably contributing to Nigeria’s development. She further reiterated FMDQ’s commitment to continue to create awareness and drive education for green financing, thereby facilitating the development of the green bond market in Nigeria.
The Associate Executive Director, Corporate Development, FMDQ, Ms. Kaodi Ugoji in her closing remarks, applauded the issuer for achieving this landmark, stating that this is yet another highly exemplary and indeed, positive step towards addressing some of the climate and environmental challenges in the nation. According to her, the advantages of issuing green instruments to help tackle some of the environmental challenges in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised.
She stated that FMDQ, as an exchange with a passion for developing the Nigerian DCM, will continue to work closely with reputable institutions such as FSD Africa, CBI to develop the green bond market in Nigeria through the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme. She also commended the sponsor to the issue and Registration Member (Listings) of FMDQ for their concerted efforts towards ensuring the success of the issuance.
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