Egypt set to issue first green sovereign bond

A pedestrian stands by a currency exchange bureau in Cairo, Egypt on March 31, 2018. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was set to sweep to victory with more than 90 percent of the vote in this week's election, crushing his one token challenger after credible competitors were eliminated before the contest. Photographer: Sima Diab/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian stands by a currency exchange bureau in Cairo, Egypt. (Photographer: Sima Diab/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In a bid to seek more ways to widen its sources of financing and investors, Egypt is preparing to sell its first-ever green bond, the Ministry of Finance said.

Green bonds is one of the financing options available to private firms and public entities to support climate and environmental investments.

The issuance will be the first such one in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Egypt hopes to raise $500 million from the issuance. Four entities were chosen to manage the sale, including Citibank, Credit Agricole SA, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings Plc.

Egypt is embarking on a plan to improve its infrastructure across all sectors and regions in the country for greater energy efficiency and resource conservation.

According to the ministry, Egypt has a range of green projects estimated at about $1.9 million among them pollution reduction, renewable energy, clean transportation and sustainable water management.

Finance minister Mohamed Maait was quoted by local media as saying the sovereign green bond programme will help Egypt raise capital from investors who care for both environmental and financial returns.

“The issuance of international government green bonds in the global markets will enhance the environmental rating of Egypt in addition to increasing the confidence of foreign investors in the Egyptian economy and supporting its current and future growth levels,” Maait said.

The World Bank congratulated Egypt for piloting this new financing solution and pledged its commitment to supporting its environmental, social and economic development.

“As the global leader in sustainable finance, the World Bank was delighted to share its knowledge and experience with the government and looks forward to providing technical assistance for post-issuance allocation and impact reporting supported by the Government Debt and Risk Management Program funded by Switzerland through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – SECO,” Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director of Egypt, said.

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