South Africa: The Green, Green Grass of Home Is Becoming a Sustainable Investment Proposition

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Green bank Nedbank became a bit greener when it joined the green bond segment of the JSE on April 30, 2019. It follows the bank's announcement earlier in the year that it will no longer fund the construction of any new coal-fired power plants beyond its existing commitments. Nedbank on Tuesday placed a R1.7bn bond to fund renewable energy projects. It was three times oversubscribed and received bids totalling R5.5bn, demonstrating strong investor appetite for good-quality environmental, social and governance focused assets.

According to Bruce Stewart, head of debt capital market origination at Nedbank CIB, the issue of Renewable Energy Bond forms a key part of Nedbank's commitment to delivering tangible financial support to projects that contribute towards the achievement of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

The organisation has now joined Growthpoint, the first to list a green bond in 2018, and the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town have followed suit.

Donna Nemer, director of capital markets at the JSE, says the listing will add clout to the three bonds listed in the segment, which has a market capitalisation of R5.10-billion. Environmental, social and governance focused assets (ESG) aren't simply a nice to have.

"It is about positioning...

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