London — Kenya’s first Green Bond by Acorn Holdings Limited has won the Most Innovative Bond accolade at the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Finance 2021 Awards.

The Shs 5.7 billion Green Bond program partially guaranteed by GuarantCo, was cross-listed on the International Securities Market (ISM) of the London Stock Exchange and at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 2020 and aims at financing clean, safe, affordable, and green-certified accommodation for university students in Nairobi.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in London, Mr. Edward Kirathe, Chief Executive Officer, Acorn, expressed delight on the win and commended the investor’s confidence in the bond, further committing to developing the Kenyan Capital Markets.

“We are very excited about this win and we would like to thank the investors who trusted in our vision to deliver Kenya’s first Green Bond with support from GuarantCo. The journey has been challenging but with the support of our partners, we have made major strides and we believe that we shall deliver our promise to the investors and scale the Kenyan Capital Markets to greater heights.”

Kirathe, who was accompanied by Sheila Moraa, Head of ESG and Blended Finance at Acorn, added that with the new corporate bond issuances coming to the market, they are optimistic of the positive progression of the Capital Markets in driving the economic growth of the country through green financing.

“Through this green bond, we saw an oversubscription. This demonstrates a great approach in growing not only our economy as a country but also the green financing which is vital in our social-economic development,” he added.

The first tranche issuance in October 2019 raised KES 4.262 billion against a target of KES 5 billion.

Subsequently, in July 2021, Acorn reopened and upsized the bond program raising a further KES 2.096 billion against a target of KES 1.438 billion representing a subscription rate of 146%.

The proceeds from the bond, rated B1 Global by Moody’s Investor Service, are being deployed towards the construction of environmentally friendly purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) properties in Nairobi.

The buildings are benchmarked against the IFC EDGE green building standards for water, energy and materials use, with the aim of achieving low operation costs and low carbon impact in the long term.

EMEA Finance specializes in reporting financial and banking developments at an executive-level audience while offering an analysis of corporate investments, retail banking services, as well as evolving banking practices

Read the original article on Capital FM.