Acorn Holdings list Kenya's first green bond

In Summary
  • Green bond refers to a debt security issued for use in environment-friendly projects such as green housing, green energy, electric cars and so on.
  • Last year, Moody's gave the bond a  B1 global rating

Retail investors, Acorn Holdings (Acorn) yesterday listed by introduction its Sh4.3 billion green bond programme, on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

A green bond is a debt security issued for use in environment-friendly projects such as green housing, green energy and electric cars.

The medium-term note programme that raised Sh4.3 billion in October 2019 will be used to finance the construction of up to six green-certified student properties, to create clean, safe and affordable accommodation for 5,000 students in Nairobi.


Last year, the issue received a B1 global rating, one notch higher than the sovereign rating, and an Aa2.Ke national scale rating from Moody’s, and a partial credit guarantee from GuarantCo (A1), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company.

Speaking during the bell ringing ceremony yesterday , NSE chairman Sam Kimani said financial tools like green bonds are helping drive more capital to projects and commended Acorn for choosing the avenue to raise funds for their purpose-built student accommodation.

“Stock Exchanges have a pivotal role to play in supporting green finance. The NSE is committed to help solve the climate challenge by meeting the growing demand for low carbon projects in Kenya,'' Kimani said.

The UK secretary of state for International Development Alok Sharma said successful listing of Acorn’s bond means new, affordable, environmentally-friendly housing for 5,000 Kenyans.

''I look forward to building more partnerships like this at next week’s UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, which will deliver more investment, jobs and growth to create a successful future for all our people,'' Sharma said.

Kenya currently faces a chronic shortage of student accommodation as university enrolment in Kenya has grown from 27,000 students in 1990 to around 550,000 students today whilst there are less than 40,000 beds available in the universities, creating a huge deficit.