Access Bank Plc Raises N15bn to Finance Green Projects

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Goddy Egene

Access Bank Plc has successfully the issued a 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured N15 billion Green Bond, the first ever Climate Bonds Standard fully certified corporate green bond to be issued in Africa.

The bond has been awarded an Aa- rating by Agusto & Co, the underlying framework verified by PwC (UK). The offer was achieved by way of a Book Building, which was fully subscribed. The bond priced at a coupon of 15.5 per cent, had participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators.

Commenting on the landmark issue, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: “With our pace-setting experience in the mainstreaming of sustainability in our business operations, we are confident that this issue with further help in supporting environmentally friendly investors to meet their investment objectives whilst simultaneously supporting the bank’s customer towards realizing growth opportunities in fast-developing low carbon economy”

According to him, the new funding will be directed towards financing new loans and refinancing existing loans in accordance with the Bank’s Green Bond Framework, and support projects directed at flood defence, solar generation facilities and agriculture.

In anticipation of the Issuance, the management of Access Bank had launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in June 2018, in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Securities & Exchange Commission(SEC).

The bank said in a statement that it supports the global climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda and seeks to promote responsible green lending globally. “The green bond issuance demonstrates the bank’s commitment to sustainable operational practices and being a pioneer operator, both in domestic and international capital markets, Access Bank views the global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing as an opportunity to raise capital for the creation of assets through climate change financing,” it said.

According to the bank, it has a strong track record in deploying environmental and social risk management tools, partnering with local and international agencies to deliver a greener outcome from investing activities.

“Over the last five years, the bank has pioneered various resource conservation programmes in water usage, energy consumption and waste recycling, aimed at reducing carbon emissions. It is worthy to note that all the bank’s sustainability efforts are well aligned with the Federal Government’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Vision 2020:20,” it added.