Acorn Holdings, a real-estate developer, on Monday, cross-listed its Kshs 5.0 billion green bond on the London Securities Exchange making it make it the first Kenyan Shilling bond to list on Exchange.
The bond was listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange last week and will be done in three tranches with the first tranche being floated at Kshs 786.0 million.
The bond which attracts an interest of 12.5% annually will be used to finance sustainable and climate-resilient student accommodation with a combined capacity of 40,000 beds.
Speaking during the launch of the green bond in London, President Uhuru urged UK investors to use Kenya as a gateway to investing in Africa and a bridge to the emerging market of more than 1.2 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“Kenya is one of the top ten fastest-growing economies on the continent and also one of the most pro-business nations in Africa,” President Kenyatta said.
With a dynamic and diverse business sector, the President pointed out that Kenya’s business environment is ranked among the top three on the continent.
The President is in London to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit 2020 which began Monday.
Secretary of State for International Development, Alok Sharma, said one of the reasons the green bond was happening was because of the support the UK government has provided in terms of the regulation environment and the partial guarantees for investors.
“This is a landmark moment here as well as in the whole of London for we are here today because of the UK-Africa Investment Summit. We have over eight of the 50 fast-growing economies in the world in Africa.
“We have got 21 countries coming together for the summit, wonderful leaders like President Kenyatta coming and supporting us. This is about making a huge difference and presents the UK as the partner of choice for Africa. It is also wonderful seeing the economies of Africa presented as partners of choice for the UK,” Mr Sharma said.
According to a report done by the IFC, a green bond is a fixed-income instrument whose distinguishing feature is that proceeds are earmarked exclusively for projects with environmental benefits.
These include renewable energy, adaptation to climate change, waste management, pollution prevention, water management, and green buildings, just to name a few.
The green bond market was launched in Kenya in February 2019, through the Green Bonds Programme Kenya, which is a joint initiative between the Central Bank of Kenya, Nairobi Securities Exchange, Climate Bonds Initiative and Kenya Bankers Association with several other organizations endorsing the program.