Access Bank Plc has revealed that Africa’s first corporate green bond, to be issued by the bank has secured the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The bank in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday explained that having secured the SEC’s approval, a book building process will be opened for a five-year fixed rate senior unsecured green bond of up to N15 billion on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 5pm, while funding commitment is slated for Friday, March 1, 2019.
According to the notice signed by Sunday Ekwochi, company secretary, proceeds of the issue “will be used to finance eligible green projects that meet the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) standards.”
The bank said it is “the first ever Climate Bonds Standard Certified Corporate Green Bond issued in Africa, which was verified by PwC (UK), has been awarded a B2 rating by Moody’s.
The bond with a 15.9 percent to 15.1 percent per annum coupon has also been certified by the Climate Bond Initiative as having met the Climate Bonds Standards.
Access Bank also noted that it had in June last year, launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the SEC.
Speaking on the issue, Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank’s group managing director, said “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 realizing growth opportunities in the fast-developing low carbon economy.”
The bank further assured that the bond issuance “will serve as a turning point for Nigeria, attracting both domestic and international investors and will set the pace for other Nigerian corporate to raise green capital.”