In a first for the country, Namibia recently announced the launch of its green bond. By doing this, Bank Windhoek, a wholly Namibian-owned commercial bank, became the first commercial bank to issue a green bond not only in Namibia but also across southern Africa.
The green bond is listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange and complies with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, a United Nations (UN) Partnership Program of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the U.N. Global Compact. The aim of the SSE is to build the capacity of stock exchanges and securities market regulators so that it can promote responsible investment in sustainable development and advance the performance of corporate companies on issues of environmental and social impact as well as governance.
“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. We want to thank our first investors Old Mutual and the Government Institutions Pension Fund for their trust and commitment to the Green Bond,” said Claire Hobbs, Chief Treasurer of Bank Windhoek.
Over the last two years, green bonds have become increasingly popular, with sustainability emerging as the key metrics in deciding both financing commitments as well as the fate of several development projects. According to reports, total green bonds issued in 2017 were $155 billion, and in the H1 alone it stood touched $75 billion. Green bond issuance in CY 2018 is forecasted to touch between $250 billion to $300 billion.
In December 2017, the first green bond was launched by a commercial bank, BDO Unibank Inc, in the Philippines and it attracted a $150 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help expand financing for private sector investments to address climate change.
Recently, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, issued its inaugural Indonesian Rupiah Komodo green bond. The green bond issue attracted strong investor demand and raised $134 million to combat climate change.