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Kenya gets ready for green bond

Kenya Bankers Association Chairman Lamin Manjang. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Kenya’s push to float the first bond with a bias on environment-friendly projects has gained momentum with key partners signinga deal to develop the framework.

Saturday Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), the umbrella body for Kenyan banks, and Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) led other partners in committing to Kenya Green Bonds Market.

“In the coming few months, thanks to this collaboration, we will have the first green bond issued this year,” said KBA chairman Lamin Manjang, as Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa committed Sh62 million ($600,000) to support the exercise.

The issuance of the region’s first bank-supported corporate bond will help fund projects that support sustainable environment in areas of energy, agriculture, waste management, water, transport and urban planning. KBA CEO Habil Olaka said that the FSD money will help in setting up strategy, standards and policy framework and possible amendment in regulations prior to floating the bond.

Low carbon

He added that the size of the bond will be decided based on the appetite. Globally, the green bond market is about $118 billion (Sh12.1 trillion).

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The bond will give a pool of investors who want to gain both financial and environmental return a chance to invest. Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge challenged banks to support the uptake of the bond through initiatives such as preferential interest rates and offering priority funding to green projects.

NSE Chief Executive Geoffrey Odundo  said that since the bourse is a member of Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative, it will create environment to help the bond debut to support climate resilient projects.

“With the low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure investments beings now given a global priority, the market for green bonds is likely to grow significantly across a wide range of borrowers and industry sectors,” said Odundo.

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