The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has approved the Book Build for its proposed N15 billion Green Bond issued by Access Bank Plc which will be the first-ever Climate Bonds Standard Certified Corporate Green Bond to be issued in Africa.
Green bonds are fixed-income financial instruments linked in some way to climate change solutions. Climate bonds are a relatively new asset class, but they are growing rapidly.
Following this approval, the bookbuild which had commenced on Thursday, February 21, 2019, will be concluded on Friday, March 1, 2019, after which the funding of commitment will begin. The 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green 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.
Access Bank management in partnership with FMDQ OTC SecuritiesExchange and the Securities Exchange Commission had in anticipation of the approval, launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in June 2018. While addressing the approval, the 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 favorable outcome.
According to Wigwe “ 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.”