Kenya lists first corporate green bond in east, central Africa

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Geoffrey O. Odundo, CEO, Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)./Photo - World Federation of Exchanges

Kenya on Monday listed the first corporate green bond in east and central Africa, an official said.

Geoffrey O. Odundo, CEO, Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)./Photo – World Federation of Exchanges

Geoffrey Odundo, chief executive officer of Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE), told journalists in Nairobi that the 4.3 billion shillings (about 42 million U.S. dollars) debt instrument issued by Nairobi-based Acorn Holdings will now be available to the public.

“The corporate green bond is expected to attract both retail and institutional investors that are keen to have green assets as part of their portfolios,” Odundo said.

The medium-term note will be used to finance the construction of up to six green-certified properties developed by Acorn to create clean, safe and affordable accommodation for 5,000 students in Nairobi.

According to the NSE, the last corporate bond was issued in Kenya was in 2016.

“We expect the new corporate listing to reignite interest for corporates to use the capital markets to raise funds for their expansion activities,” he added.

Patrick Njoroge, the governor of Central Bank of Kenya, said that Kenya is prioritizing the use of green finance in order to fund projects that will mitigate the negative impact of climate change.

Njoroge added that African countries continue to bear the brunt of extreme weather patterns such as floods and drought.

Sam Kimani, chairman NSE said that stock exchanges have a pivotal role to play in supporting green finance so as to help solve the climate challenge by meeting the growing demand for low carbon projects in Kenya.

Kimani added that financial tools like green bonds are helping drive more capital towards sustainable development projects.

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