Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2023

Green bond of the year - supranational: African Development Bank

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is the largest issuer of green and social bonds in Africa.

This award recognises the AfDB's pioneering work on supranational bonds in the ESG market, and in particular the issue last year of its ZAR200 million ($11 million) one-year green bond, due September 2023.

This was the AfDB's first green bond issued in South African rand and the first green bond issued in a private placement format by the development bank.

Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges were impressed with the issue, both as a "great impact example" and because of the way it highlighted the AfDB's ability to leverage the private placement market.

Of particular note was the way that the AfDB was able to broaden and diversify its ESG investor base tailoring the issue to meet the investment needs of Sony Bank and its requirements around issue size, currency, maturity, and ESG labelling.

The judging panel said that they were very impressed overall and in particular applauded the "super impressive innovation and tailoring" of this issuance, and the way it met both issuer and investor's needs with regards to currency, private registration, and tenor.

Reacting to the award, AfDB vice president of finance Hassatou N'Sele said: "We are delighted with this accolade which helps spotlight our work in climate adaptation and mitigation. Climate change is the highest risk amplifier for socio-economic development on the African continent and beyond financing green projects, the African Development Bank has been actively mobilising climate funds and helping some of its member countries establish and issue green bonds."

AfDB treasurer Omar Sefiani added: "We are delighted to have won this award which recognises the Bank's commitment to the global effort on climate and the importance the bank places in playing an active role in African domestic markets."

Deal highlights:

Issuer: African Development Bank
Size: ZAR200 million ($11 million)
Maturity: September 2023
Coupon: 6.90%
Use of proceeds: Eligible projects according to AfDB's Green Bond framework
External reviewer: Cicero
Lead managers: Daiwa Securities
Credit rating: Aaa/AAA/AAA/AAA (Moody's, S&P, Fitch, Japan Credit Rating)