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Access Bank to issue first corporate green bond in Africa


Access Bank Plc PHOTO:

Following approval of its book build by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Access Bank Plc is set to issue the first corporate green bond in Africa.
The book build commenced yesterday, and will be concluded in exactly one week, after which the funding of commitment will begin on Friday, March 1, 2019 .
The Bond, a 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green Bond of up to N15 billion is the first Climate Bonds Standard Certified Corporate Green Bond to be issued in Africa. 
It has been awarded a B2 rating by Moody’s, and verified by PwC (UK), following certification by the Climate Bond Initiative as having met the Climate Bond Standards.  
Access Bank had in anticipation of the approval, launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in June 2018, in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, and SEC.
Reacting to the approval, the Bank’s Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe, described it as a step in the right direction, adding that it lends credence to the process and gives hope of a favourable outcome.  
According to Wigwe, the final approval of the Green Bond will mean another commendable feat, and speaks to the vision of being a key player in the country’s finance sector.
“With over a decade’s experience leading Sustainability in the Nigerian financial sector, we believe that the issuance of this bond will create a path to financing Nigeria’s climate change objectives and also unlock the country’s economic growth potential.”
He continued: “With our pace-setting experience in the mainstreaming of sustainability in our business operations; we are confident that this Issue will further help in supporting environmentally friendly investors to meet their investment objectives, whilst simultaneously supporting the Bank’s customer towards realising growth opportunities in the fast-developing low carbon economy,” he said.
The Issue proceeds will be used to finance eligible green projects that meet the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) standards, and will serve as a turning point for Nigeria, attracting both domestic and international investors, and will set the pace for other Nigerian corporates to raise green capital.

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