By Osigbemhe Apeaye
The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) has successfully listed the N15 billion green bond issued by Access Bank Plc after it was initially admitted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The listing of the eco-friendly bond represents a major milestone in the development of sustainable financing in Nigeria.
The cross-listing of this 15.50 percent fixed rate green bond with five-year maturity has enjoyed many firsts including the first-ever climate bonds standard certified corporate green bond to be issued in Africa; the first to be listed on the NSE in 2019; and now, the first successful cross-listing of a bond born out of the partnership between NSE and LuxSE.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, the top 5 risks in the world today closely related to climate change issues.
There is, therefore, an increased urgency to reverse recent environmental trends such as ravaging bushfires, extremes of temperatures, floods, cyclones and season disruptions that have made the effects of climate change even more real.
These developments have thrust the concept of sustainable financing into the limelight, allowing products like Green Bonds to gain increasing significance.
It is, therefore, no surprise that the green bond market has witnessed tremendous growth globally with a total of $181 billion raised from global investors in 2019, representing a 14-fold increase from the $13 billion raised in 2013.
On the demand side, there has been heightened consideration of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in the demand for profitable investment products.
Looking at the Nigerian market, notable milestones have been achieved through the collaboration of public and private stakeholders. In 2016, NSE boldly reached out to the Ministry of Environment with a proposal for the issuance of a green bond which was embraced and championed by former Minister of Environment and now Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed. This move led to a series of partnerships and innovations that have delivered gradual uptake in this market segment.
Among these were the first ever green bonds conference which held at the Stock Exchange House, Lagos and was headlined by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo;
Also, is the issuance of the first 5-year N10.69 billion sovereign and certified green bond from the Nigerian government under its Ministry of Environment and the Debt Management Office (DMO).
There is further the subsequent issuance of a 7-year, N15 billion sovereign green bond which was well received by investors with an over-subscription of 220 percent.
In addition, there was the listing of Access Bank Plc’s N15 billion green bond and North South Power Company Limited’s N8.5 billion Corporate Infrastructure Green Bond.
Lastly, there was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the NSE and the LuxSE to promote cross listing of bonds and foster the growth of sustainable finance in Nigeria.
The green bonds market presents great opportunities to reap value if it continues to enjoy the unwavering commitment of key capital market stakeholders.
Access Bank has pledged its support to the global climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda which seeks to promote responsible green lending globally.
Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, affirmed that, “The cross-listing of the bond will make a material contribution to address climate change and provide institutional investors with access to a deep pool of green capital domestically and internationally.”
On its part, the NSE has expressed its resolute commitment to the development of a sustainable capital market in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, has been reported to have said, “We will continue to maintain a dedicated sustainable market segment which provides issuers, asset managers and investors, access to green, social, sustainable, or ESG-focused securities.
“Asides Green Bonds, this segment will also promote the development of green labelled Fixed Income Products, Indices and Exchange Traded Products (ETFs) that help direct funding of green projects and environmentally aligned issuers as well as the green transition that ensures market resilience to the economic impacts of climate change.”
Standard Chartered Introduces Smart Business Loan
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A credit facility package targeted at small business owners in Nigeria called Smart Business Loan (SBL) has been introduced by Standard Chartered Bank.
The product was designed to help players in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector meet their short to medium-term needs. It is an unsecured instalment/term loan to business banking clients within key target sectors.
A statement from the lender explained that qualified business banking clients will be able to access up to N20 million loan without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase assets, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
The maximum tenor for the credit facility is two years, Business Post gathered.
Before now, customers were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank’s business banking segment but SBL provides the necessary flexibility to its clients.
“As a bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” the Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB), at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mr David Idoru, stated.
“Within our CPBB, the promotion of commerce is largely done through our business banking segment by banking SMEs.
“We are constantly looking for ways to ensure our clients get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive and SBL provides the necessary flexibility for business growth,” Mr Idoru added.
DLM Capital Praises Employees for Global Finance Award
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Employees of DLM Capital Group, a leading developmental investment bank in Nigeria, have been applauded for the award received by the company recently.
DLM Capital was named the Best Development Finance Company Nigeria 2021 by the Global Banking and Finance Review magazine.
The honour was in recognition of the institution’s dedication to providing leadership and excellence in Nigeria’s development finance space.
While commenting on the award, the Head of Investment Banking at DLM Capital, Mr Emeka Ngene, said the honour was made possible as a result of the continuous collaboration of the DLM community.
“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition from such a prestigious body as Global Banking and Finance Awards.
“We are pleased to be associated with this award which speaks to our dedication and hard work in addition to the expertise and innovative solutions we have implemented over the years.
“This further demonstrates our commitment to designing and implementing developmental funding solutions for the development of the country.
“We are therefore dedicating this award to our team for their continuous support in ensuring that DLM Capital thrives in its pursuit to push the frontiers of developmental capital market solutions in the Nigerian financial ecosystem.
“We are delighted once again to have been identified for our accomplishments among other players across the continent,” he stated.
Since 2011, the Global Banking & Finance Awards has honoured companies that stand out in their various areas of expertise in the banking and finance industry, thereby recognizing the accomplishments and significant revolutions that emerge every year within the global finance community.
Ecobank Offers Back-to-School Loan Packages to Parents
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The desire to ease the financial burdens of parents and guardians as regards the payment of school fees of their children and wards for the 2021/2022 school year has made Ecobank Nigeria come up with affordable loan packages.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, explained that the introduction of the credit facility is in line with the lender’s overall strategy to support the development of the nation’s education sector.
A statement from the financial institution disclosed that the loan packages were designed under its back-to-school initiatives and are also available to school owners through special infrastructure loans.
“As a bank that has the interest of its customers at heart especially at this period when schools resume, we understand the importance of education. Children deserve to go to school and we are making it easy for parents to provide them with this basic right,” she said.
Speaking specifically on the loans available for the educational institutions, she noted that they could be accessed without bottlenecks as the bank has taken into cognisance the harsh effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi urged schools to appoint the bank as their preferred financial institution for payments and collections, noting that Ecobank has demonstrated pedigree and expertise in fees collection, locally and internationally.
She further encouraged schools and individuals that are yet to open Ecobank accounts to do so in order to access the offers available.
The banker also said Ecobank’s digital offerings are targeted at reducing the financial burden on parents, students and schools, and also facilitating the ease of payment of fees without hassles.
She listed the digital offerings to include Ecobank Mobile App, EcobankPay and Ecobank Online for contactless fees payment; personal loans and salary advance packages at competitive interest rates, international transfers for offshore school fees payment and affordable remittance offerings.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi also noted that families abroad who wish to send money home to help with fees can do so at zero charges on the Rapidtransfer app.
The bank has also provided the banking-for-school pack for educational institutions to access working capital and loans. The features of this pack include easy fee collections, zero charges on collection accounts with EcobankPay, secure online banking with Omni Lite and cards for easy payments.
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