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Standard Bank issues the first ZAR sustainability-linked bond in the financial sector

15 Aug 2023

South Africa
Financial Institutions
Business Unit
Sustainable Finance
Standard Bank of South Africa is proud to announce it has issued its first R1.4 billion sustainability-linked bond listed on the JSE’s sustainability segment. This is the first sustainability-linked bond issued out of the financial sector in the country.

Standard Bank's commitment to sustainability and, more specifically, to mobilising finance for positive impact is supported by its first-in-market R1.4 billion sustainability-linked bond.

The sustainability-linked bond is listed on the JSE’s Sustainability Segment and makes it a first of its kind in the financial sector in the country. Embedded targets focus on financing new renewable energy and social projects which will assist countries in which Standard Bank operates.

The R1.4 billion, 3 year tranche forms part of a R3 billion issuance, receiving a total interest of R8.5 billion from multiple fixed income investors.

The JSE’s Sustainability Segment came into effect in July 2020, and it allows companies to raise debt for green, social and sustainable initiatives on a trusted exchange.

These initiatives include green bonds (energy, water and waste), social bonds (housing, schooling and health), sustainability bonds (a combination of green and social bonds) as well as sustainability-linked bonds.

The Sustainability Segment makes it easier to list and trade sustainability-related fixed income instruments (i.e. bonds) and provides a platform for companies with a clear focus on sustainability and ESG objectives.

Standard Bank supports the JSE’s Sustainability Segment  through its Sustainable Finance division both as issuer and in its capacity as arranger for clients looking to raise debt in sustainable format in the capital markets.

The first-in-market sustainability-linked bond demonstrates the bank’s continued commitment towards sustainability and specifically mobilising financing for a positive impact.  

Head of Sustainable Finance at Standard Bank Sasha Cook said on the sustainability-linked bond: 

‘As a leader in sustainable finance, we are very pleased to have issued our first sustainability-linked bond (“SLB”) embedding targets linked to the financing of renewable energy and projects with positive social impact. This transaction tangibly demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and to continuing to develop the market as it is the first FIG SLB issuance in SA.’

Praveshni Sewmohan, Sustainable Finance Manager stated:

‘This first-in-market sustainability-linked bond, aimed at financing new renewable energy projects and social projects, will directly benefit the countries in which we operate.’

Carl Wiesner, SA Syndicate Head from Debt Capital Markets at Standard Bank added:

‘It is encouraging to see the increasing level of interest and sophistication of the South African investor base towards sustainability-linked instruments, driving growth and another first in South African Debt Capital Market.'