On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, FirstRand Bank, one of South Africa’s largest lenders, listed two sustainability bonds (JSE). Borrowers wanting to invest in green buildings and affordable housing projects will be able to finance and refinance with the bonds.
The two bonds, worth R2 billion in total, are part of a long-term plan to raise R72 billion for FirstRand’s sustainability projects. The bonds are traded on the Sustainability Segment of the JSE under the JSE codes FRJ27S and FRJ29S. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange created the Sustainability Segment to help companies raise debt for green, social, and sustainable investment projects.
Valdene Reddy, Director of Capital Markets at the JSE, said she is motivated by South African companies’ commitment to reconciling the need to generate profits for investors with collective responsibility for climate change mitigation.
“It is encouraging that the proceeds that are going to be raised from bond issuances will be used to fund projects that will contribute to creating shared prosperity for a broad range of stakeholders including low-income and middle-income earners, developers, and shareholders. We are experiencing extremities through severe droughts and devastating floods, which have proven catastrophic for food security and caused untold damage to infrastructure and human lives. The Sustainability Segment has become an important platform for helping issuers raise capital for climate-friendly projects,” she said.
The bonds listed by FirstRand Bank bring the number of sustainability bonds listed on the JSE to 44, raising the segment’s market capitalization to R23.2 billion.