Access Bank’s N15 Billion Green Bond Is Fully Subscribed- Wigwe
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By Rommy IMAH
Access Bank Plc, a leading Nigerian multinational commercial bank, has announced that its 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured N15billion Green Bond, the first ever fully certified Climate bond to be issued in Africa, has been fully subscribed.
Access Bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, who made the announcement at the bond signing ceremony at the bank’s head office in Lagos on Monday, expressed confidence that the issuance will further help environmental-friendly investors meet their objectives.
“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 environmental-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,” Wigwe said.
He said that the Green Bond offer was achieved by way of Book Building, a systematic process of generating, capturing, and recording investor demand for shares during an initial public offering (IPO), or other securities during their issuance process.
Green bond is a bond specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects. It is typically asset-linked and backed by the issuer’s balance sheet, and are also referred to as climate bonds.
The management of Access Bank had in anticipation of the Issuance, launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in June 2018, in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Securities & Exchange Commission.
The 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green Bond has been awarded an AA- rating by Agusto & Co, while the underlying framework was verified by PwC (UK) and the Bonds certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative as having met the global Climate Bonds Standard.
While disclosing that the Bond is priced at a coupon of 15.5%, with participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators, Wigwe noted that the Green Bond Issuance demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to sustainable operational practices.
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.
The Bank supports the global climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda and seeks to promote responsible green lending globally in addition to commanding 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. 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.
Access Bank’s contributions to sustainable financial practices is also evident in the increasing local and international awards and accolades it has received, which include - Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Award for Outstanding Business Sustainability & Outstanding Sustainability Leader (2018); Euromoney Award for Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility (2018); Global Finance Awards for Most Sustainable Bank in Nigeria (2018) and Central Bank of Nigeria Sustainability Award(s) for Sustainable Bank of the Year (2017).
Wigwe noted that the new funding will be directed towards financing new loans and refinancing existing loans in accordance with the Bank’s Green Bond Framework, as well as support projects directed at Flood Defense, Solar Generation facilities and Agriculture.
The Lead Issuing House on the Green Bond Issuance was Chapel Hill Denham, while Coronation Merchant Bank was the Joint Issuing House.
L-R: Gregory Jobome, ED Risk Management; Roosevelt Ogbonna, GDMD; Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO; Ajoritsedere Awosika, Ag. Chairman, all of Access Bank Plc, during the signing ceremony at the bank's head office in Lagos, Monday….