December 6, 2018 / 11:56 AM / 5 days ago

Bank Windhoek becomes first commercial lender in southern Africa to issue green bond

WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Bank Windhoek has issued Namibia’s first green bond to finance eligible green projects and assets, the lender announced on Thursday.

A logo of Namibia's Bank Windhoek is seen above the company's headquarters in the capital Windhoek, Namibia, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Namibia’s largest locally owned bank and its second largest lender will become the first commercial lender in southern Africa to issue such a bond, it said in a statement.

The bond, listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange, raised 66.60 million Namibian dollars ($4.74 million) on a private placement basis.

It has a coupon rate of three-month Johannesburg Interbank Agreed Rate plus 150 basis points, according to Bank Windhoek treasury sales and sustainability analyst Ruan Bestbier.

Bank Windhoek is a unit of the Capricorn Group, an investment holding company with interests in banking, insurance and asset management in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.

“As a member of Capricorn Group, Bank Windhoek aims to become the green financier of choice for sustainability projects in Namibia and in other countries in which the group operates,” Bank Windhoek Managing Director Baronice Hans said.

Green bonds are a growing category of fixed-income securities, which raise capital for projects with environmental benefits.

Eligible projects in Namibia include renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource efficiency, green buildings, sustainable waste management, sustainable land use, clean transportation, sustainable water management and climate change.

“The issuance of Namibia’s first green bond is testament to Bank Windhoek’s vision to be the financial partner of choice, ultimately leading to positive change in the country and the Southern African region,” said the bank’s chief treasurer, Claire Hobbs.

($1 = 14.0380 Namibian dollars)

Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; editing by Jason Neely

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