Access Bank lists N15bn Green Bond on FMDQ, NSE platforms

Access Bank

Access Bank Plc on Monday listed the N15 billion fully certified Green Bond on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dual listing followed the formal approval of the bond by the Securities and Exchange

The bond is the first of its kind to be issued by an African corporate and represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market.

The bond priced at a coupon of 15.5 per cent, with participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators.

Speaking at the listing in Lagos, Ms Tumi Sekoni, Associate Executive Director, Capital Markets, FMDQ, congratulated the issuer for the successful issue of the pioneer Climate Bond Certified Green Bond in the Nigerian Debt Capital Market (DCM).

Sekoni said that the green bond would help address climate and environmental challenges in a sustainable manner to deliver prosperity for Nigerians.

She said that the bond would further deepen the domestic DCM by increasing the range of investible debt securities in the markets, invariably contributing to Nigeria’s development.

She further reiterated FMDQ’s commitment to continue to create awareness and drive education for green financing, thereby facilitating the development of the green bond market in Nigeria.

Sekoni said that the issuance was the first corporate bond to benefit from the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme launched in June 2018, by FMDQ, Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), and the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa).

She noted that that FMDQ, CBI and FSD Africa launched the initiative to provide training/capacity development for regulators, issuers, investors and intermediaries, amongst others, as part of efforts to introduce green bonds as an investible instrument in the Nigerian DCM that could be tapped to close the huge infrastructure gap.

Mr Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Group Managing Director, said that the issuance was fully subscribed by way of book build.

Wigwe said that the listing of the bond closely followed the completion of the bank’s merger with Diamond Bank and the launch of its new brand identity that fuses the bank and Diamond Bank’s visual identities symbolising their shared philosophy.

“The Green Bond issuance highlights the Bank’s commitment to sustainability and its status as a pioneer in green financing in both the domestic and international capital markets,” he said.

He noted that the bond comes amidst a global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing and would allow the financing of new loans and refinancing of existing loans in accordance with the bank’s Green Bond Framework.

Wigwe said that the bond would support projects directed at flood defense, solar generation facilities and agriculture.

“At Access Bank we are a pioneer in both domestic and international capital
markets, leading the way with our commitment to sustainable banking.

“We hope that this bond issuance inspires other African companies to support the long-term development of the green finance market whilst simultaneously realising the growth potential of the fast-developing low carbon economy,” Wigwe said.

Justine Leigh-Bell, the Climate Bonds Deputy Chief Executive Officer, lauded the bond listing on both exchanges.

“This first Climate Bond certified corporate green bond out of Africa represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market.

“In addition to being an inspiration to other private companies, the leadership demonstrated by Access Bank is critical for the long term development of the green finance market in Nigeria and a great example for other African nations to follow,” Leigh-Bell said.

Also speaking, Mrs Kemi Awodein, Managing Director Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited, said that the comapny was proud to have acted as lead arranger and financial adviser to Access Bank on Nigeria’s and Africa’s first Climate Bond Certified Corporate Green Bond.

“This is another first-of-a-kind deal for both Access Bank and Chapel Hill Denham, and this demonstrates our leadership in DCM innovation and our commitment to doing work that delivers positive impact for Nigeria’s future.

“A commitment to advancing sustainable development goals is imperative in Nigeria and debt markets provide us many solutions”, Awodein said.

Ms Kaodi Ugoji, Associate Executive Director, Corporate Development, FMDQ, in her closing remarks, applauded the issuer for achieving this landmark, stating that this is yet another highly exemplary and indeed, positive step towards addressing some of the climate and environmental challenges in the nation.

She also commended the sponsor to the issue and Registration Member (Listings) of FMDQ for their concerted efforts towards ensuring the success of the issuance.