Egypt debuted green bond issuance on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in a virtual event on Thursday.
Worth $750m, the five-year green bonds represent the largest issuance of a kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, and the first sovereign bond to list on the LSE.
British Middle East Minister James Cleverly and Interim CEO of the LSE Denzil Jenkins welcomed the decision to list the bonds on the LSE, which contributes to deepening sustainable partnership between the United Kingdom and Egypt in the face of climate change.
Minister Cleverley said, “The listing of the first green sovereign bonds in the Middle East on the London Stock Exchange represents a historic moment between the United Kingdom and the Middle East from London to Cairo, and across the world. We need ambitious and forward-thinking measures like this to protect environment and ensure a green and resilient recovery from novel COVID-19 pandemic.”
For his part, Jenkins said, “The success of this inaugural deal highlights Egypt’s commitment to building a sustainable future and paves the way for many issuers in the region to take this approach.”
Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait commented, “We are pleased to join the group of sovereign green bond issuers that play a leading role in green development, and we value the great demand by investors onthis successful issuance, which demonstrates their support and confidence in the government’s efforts to diversify financing needed to achieve sustainable development goals.”
Maait added that proceeds of the green bonds will be used to finance environmentally friendly projects in areas of clean transportation, renewable energy, reducing and controlling pollution, adapting to climate change, raising energy efficiency, and sustainable management of water and sanitation.
The minister pointed out that this issuance has experienced a great demand by investors, as purchase orders exceeded the volume of the announced issuance ($500m) by 7.4 times, and were five times more than the issued size.
He noted that this issuance attracted a new base of investors in Europe, the US, East Asia, and the Middle East at rates: 47%, 41%, 6%, and 6%, respectively.