Kenya approves issuance of first green bond

Kenya has approved the issuance of the country’s first green bond for student accommodation, the country’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) said on Thursday.

It is expected to be issued by Acorn Project Limited following the launch of the policy guidance note on green bonds in February.

CMA chief executive officer Paul Muthaura said the bond seeks to raise five billion shillings (48.45 million U.S. dollars) to finance sustainable and climate-resilient student accommodation and is structured as a restricted public offer.

“Being a restricted public offer, the issuer will raise the funds from only targeted sophisticated investors,” Muthaura said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

“The issuance is a critical step in advancing the development of an effective ecosystem to support the establishment of green capital markets in Kenya in line with the Marrakech Pledge 2016, now that the necessary legal instruments are in place to facilitate such issuances,” Muthaura said.

The capital market regulator noted that it was one of the pioneer signatories to the 2016 Marrakech Pledge.

According to the issuer’s information memorandum, the fixed-rate bond is certified as a green bond by the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Muthaura added that the sophisticated investors participating in the green bond will benefit from a 50 percent guarantee on principle and interest payments from Guarantco, which is funded by the governments of United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands.
The CMA also plans to continue engaging with potential issuers in order to create a pipeline of green bond issuers to facilitate effective matching of demand and supply of green-centric capital and climate-resilient investing opportunities.