Access Bank Plc is set to issue a 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green Bond of up to N15 billion, which will be the first ever climate bonds standard certified corporate green bond to be issued in Africa.
This followed the approval of the bank’ book building by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The book building commenced Thursday and will be concluded in exactly one week, after which the funding of commitment will begin on Friday, March 1, 2019. The bond 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. The management of 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 the SEC.
Commenting on the approval, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe described it as a step in the right direction, saying 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 feat that is commendable and speaks to the vision of being a key player in the country’s finance sector.
He said: “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 said.
Wigwe cited the bank’s rich experience in the area of sustainability as a factor that will guarantee its success of the bond issuance.
“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,” he said.
The issue proceeds will be used to finance eligible green projects that meet CBI standards.