The Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s leading private sector bank, has launched the Green Bond programme to support financing of projects that promote sustainable solutions for climate change and address key environmental issues such as natural resources depletion, loss of biodiversity and air, water, or soil pollution.
The programme helps support Egypt’s green economy and contributes to increasing the share of renewable energy in Egypt’s energy mix as well as more resource efficient investments in industry and construction, with a grant element for green buildings across the country.
The Green Bond closing lunch was held on 15 November 2021 at the St. Regis Hotel and was attended by Sherif Samy, CIB’s Non-Executive Chairperson; Hussein Abaza, CIB’s CEO and Managing Director; Manuel Reyes-Retana, IFC’s Regional Industry Director for the Financial Institutions Group in Africa; and Sandra Boumah, IFC’s Investment Manager for FIG in Africa.
CIB published its Green Bond Framework this year that sets the governing guidelines and principles for issuing its green bonds. It reflects the Bank’s long-standing commitment to advancing the sustainable finance agenda and establishing itself as a leading example in Egypt’s banking sector. The framework aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and complements CIB’s Sustainable Finance strategy. It will be used as a reference for the issuance of green bonds, in line with the Bank’s strategic priorities, future funding needs and the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) framework.
“We believe our efforts to support green projects nationwide will boost the green bond market and hopefully inspire other issuers to follow suit. In order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, issuers, investors and regulators must coordinate on the national and regional levels to drive market growth,” said Abaza.
CIB’s green bond approved pipeline currently has projects in various industrial sectors worth around USD 70 million, including CIB’s building in the New Administrative Capital, which is currently in the process of being certified as a green building. CIB has partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the development of the first green building financing in Egypt and it is believed that certified green buildings will constitute a major share of the financed projects. Three projects in the banking and educational sector and the food and beverages industry are currently pending certification, with more promising projects underway. The projects, which have a positive environmental impact, are expected to encourage occupiers to become advocates for green buildings after experiencing their benefits and efficiency. The green bond was issued with the help of Zulficar and Partners Law Firm and Deloitte, CIB’s legal counsel and auditor, respectively.
“We are proud that our investment in Egypt’s first corporate green bond is starting to translate into action. We expect this pioneering project to inspire other private sector players to unlock finance for climate-smart projects and support Egypt’s transition to a greener economy,” said Reyes-Retana.
In coordination with IFC, CIB is currently identifying and assessing potential eligible projects for its portfolio, with a total amount of USD 70 million. Also, in order to incorporate green culture into CIB’s organization, IFC is working with the Bank to extend training and support for new product development across all lines of business.