Access Bank issues Africa’s first corporate green bond

Access Bank Plc has issued a five-year fixed rate senior unsecured green bond to the tune of N15 billion making it the first corporate green bond to be issued in Africa.

The bond offer, which was achieved by a bookbuild and was fully subscribed, was priced at 15.5% with participation from asset managers and pension fund administrators.

The bond has already been awarded an Aa-rating by Agusto & Co.

In anticipation of the issuance, the management of Access Bank had launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Securities & Exchange Commission.

“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 a fast-developing low carbon economy,” Hebert Wigwe, the bank’s group managing director, said at the signing ceremony.

The bank said 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.

Chapel Hill Denham was the lead issuing house on the green bond issuance, whilst the joint issuing house was Coronation Merchant Bank.