IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested $200 million in The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited’s green bond placed on the London Stock Exchange today. It’s Africa’s largest green bond and South Africa’s first offshore green bond issuance, which will increase access to climate finance.
The 10-year green bond facility privately placed by IFC is compliant with the International Green Bond Principles and will enable Standard Bank Group’s Sustainable Finance Business Unit to on-lend to and finance climate-smart projects in South Africa such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency and green buildings.
“This bond is a landmark placement for South Africa and will contribute to financing South Africa’s green economy. We hope it will catalyze interest in green investments from other actors in the country,” said Adamou Labara, IFC’s Country Manager for South Africa.
Commercial banks currently provide 45 percent of South Africa’s financing for renewable energy and energy-efficient projects. IFC estimates that South Africa’s climate-smart investment potential, between now and 2030, is $588 billion.
“When it comes to financing, clients should be considering green, social and sustainable products as investors increasingly shift their mandates to sustainable businesses,” said Nigel Beck, Standard Bank Group’s executive head of Sustainable Finance.
Projects funded by the green bond have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 742,000 tons per year, or nearly 3.7 million tons over a five-year period, IFC estimates.
IFC is one of the world’s largest green bond issuers, with 172 issues in 20 currencies, totaling more than $10 billion. IFC is a member of the Green Bond Principles and is part of its Executive Committee, which, combined with its experience as an issuer and investor in green bonds, has allowed us to support several countries globally to shape the standards and guidelines of green bond issues.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org
About Standard Bank Group
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, the bank is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Namibian Stock Exchange. The group has more than 53,000 employees, approximately 1,200 branches and over 9,000 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of banking and related financial services.
Source: International Finance Corporation (Published on March 2, 2020)