Access Bank Is Said to Plan Nigeria's First Corporate Green Bond

(Bloomberg) -- Access Bank Plc, which could create Africa’s largest retail lender by customers with the takeover of Diamond Bank Plc, plans to sell the country’s first corporate green bond to fund environmental projects, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The bank plans to raise about 15 billion naira ($41 million) in the first quarter for climate-related funds and programs, the person said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Access Bank spokesman Amaechi Okobi said he couldn’t immediately comment when contacted by phone.

The West African nation’s government sold the country’s first green bond worth 10.7 billion naira in 2017 and plans to raise as much as 150 billion naira by 2021, according to the debt management agency. A green bond is a bond specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and green bonds are part of the country’s plan to cut emissions and meet its obligations to the Paris agreement on the environment. The Securities Exchange Commission and Lagos-based FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange launched Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Program last year to encourage private companies to sell climate-related debts.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.