Africa’s largest bank by assets, Standard Bank Group, has secured a US$250 million sustainable term loan facility from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which it intends to use to fund a portfolio of green and social assets – with a specific focus on renewable energy and affordable housing.
“Increasing access to climate and affordable housing finance will help South Africa achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said Adamou Labara, IFC Country Manager for South Africa.
“IFC’s partnership with Standard Bank supports the country’s transition to a low-emissions and climate resilient economy and will expand access to affordable housing and improve the quality of life for South Africans,” added Labara.
Standard Bank revealed to RenewAfrica.Biz that the facility is structured as a seven-year term loan, and will enable it to fund assets in alignment with its sustainability strategy, and also help it fulfil its commitments to finance renewable energy power plants and social projects in South Africa, and the continent.
“This treasury transaction with the IFC provides financing for both green and social assets and is the first sustainable loan IFC has concluded with a commercial bank in South Africa,” said Sasha Cook, Head of Sustainable Finance at Standard Bank Group.
“This transaction enables Standard Bank to drive greater positive environmental and social impact in the areas of renewable energy, as well as supporting provision of financing for individuals seeking to acquire homes in the affordable housing segment,” added Cook.
Standard Bank highlighted that it is focused, primarily through its sustainable finance division, on providing financial products and services that support positive sustainability outcomes, including green and social loans and bonds, sustainability-linked loans and bonds, sustainable trade and working capital solutions and impact investing.
Commenting on the facility, Kenny Fihla, Chief Executive for Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank Group said, “The successful conclusion of this USD 250 million sustainable term loan reaffirms our focus on renewable energy and affordable housing, which will deliver positive environmental and social impacts in Africa.”