AWARD

Kenya’s first green bond by Acorn Holdings recognised

Wins the 'Most Innovative Bond' accolade at the EMEA Finance 2021 Awards.

In Summary

•The Sh5.7bn green bond programme, partially guaranteed by GuarantCo, was cross-listed on the International Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange and NSE.

•It aims at financing clean, safe, affordable and green-certified accommodation for university students in Nairobi.

EMEA Finance CEO Christopher Moore, Acorn Holdings CEO Edward Kirathe, head of ESG and blended finance Sheila Moraa, InfraCo Africa CEO Gilles Vaes and GuarantCo client relationship manager Lucinda O’Gorman, during the EMEA Finance 2021 Awards/ ACORN
EMEA Finance CEO Christopher Moore, Acorn Holdings CEO Edward Kirathe, head of ESG and blended finance Sheila Moraa, InfraCo Africa CEO Gilles Vaes and GuarantCo client relationship manager Lucinda O’Gorman, during the EMEA Finance 2021 Awards/ ACORN

Kenya’s first green bond by Acorn Holdings Limited has won the Most Innovative Bond accolade at the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Finance 2021 Awards.

The Sh5.7 billion green bond programme, partially guaranteed by GuarantCo, was cross-listed on the International Securities Market (ISM) of the London Stock Exchange, and at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 2020.

It aims at financing clean, safe, affordable and green-certified accommodation for university students in Nairobi.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in London, Acorn CEO Edward Kirathe expressed delight on the win and commended the investor’s confidence in the bond, further committing to developing the Kenyan capital markets.

“We are very excited for this win and we would like to thank the investors who trusted in our vision to deliver Kenya’s first Green Bond with support from GuarantCo," Kirathe said.

he added: "The journey has been challenging but with the support of our partners, we have made major strides and we believe that we shall deliver our promise to the investors and scale the Kenyan capital markets to greater heights.”

Kirathe, who was accompanied by Head of ESG and Blended Finance at Acorn, Sheila Moraa, said with the new corporate bond issuances coming to the market, they are optimistic of positive progression of the capital markets, in driving the economic growth of the country through green financing.

“Through this green bond, we saw an oversubscription. This demonstrates a great approach in growing not only our economy as a country but also the green financing which is vital in our social-economic development,” he added.

The first tranche issuance in October 2019 raised Sh4.3 billion against a target of Sh5 billion.

Subsequently, in July 2021, Acorn reopened and upsized the bond programme raising a further Sh2.1 billion, against a target of Sh1.4 billion,  representing a subscription rate of 146 per cent.

The proceeds from the bond, rated B1 Global by Moody’s Investor Service, are being deployed towards the construction of environmentally friendly purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) properties in Nairobi.

The buildings are benchmarked against the IFC EDGE green building standards for water, energy and materials use, with the aim of achieving low operation costs and low carbon impact in the long-term.

EMEA Finance specialises in reporting financial and banking developments at an executive-level audience while offering an analysis of corporate investments, retail banking services, as well as evolving banking practices.

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