President Uhuru Kenyatta today rang the bell to kick off the trading of Kenya’s first green bond at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Speaking during the launch, the President urged UK investors to use Kenya as a gateway to investing into Africa and a bridge to the emerging market of more than 1.2 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“Kenya is one of the top ten fastest growing economies on the continent and also one of the most pro-business nations in Africa,” President Kenyatta said.
With a dynamic and diverse business sector, the President pointed out that Kenya’s business environment is ranked among the top three in Africa.
Over 60 Kenyan companies are featured in the London Stock Exchange’s “Companies to Inspire Africa” report in sectors ranging from agriculture to FinTech.
The President, who is in London to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit, said he was delighted to open the day’s trading at one of the world’s oldest Stock Exchanges.
“There is no better place to appreciate the realities of global economic activity and investment trends than this trading floor,” President Kenyatta said.
The $40 million (over 4 billion shillings) bond by Nairobi-based property developer Acorn Holdings that started trading today at the LSE after its launch by the President becomes the first Kenya shilling denominated corporate green bond to be listed in the United Kingdom.
The bond, which was first listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange last week, will help Acorn Holdings raise funds to build environmentally friendly accommodation for 50,000 university students in Nairobi.
The President assured that Kenya will continue to develop the investment environment for sustainable finance, saying a policy framework that will enable the country to issue a sovereign green bond and strengthen its position as a regional financial hub has been finalized.
“I invite the LSE to continue working with Kenya towards achieving this goal,” he said.