Lagos, Dec. 9, 2023: A syndicate of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFIs), led by Proparco, has signed a $200 million sustainability-linked loan to support Ecobank Group’s sustainability and climate strategy.
Dr Ayo Adepoju, Group Chief Financial Officer(GCFO), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), disclosed this in a statement made available to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) on Friday in Lagos.
Adepoju said that the partnering EDFIs included Norfund, DEG, FMO and EFP, among others which demonstrated the confidence of ETI’s banking partners in the pan-African banking group.
He said: “Proparco acted as lead arranger and lender, followed by Norfund, DEG, FMO and European Financing Partners.
“This transaction highlights the quality of ETI’s leadership in the African banking sector and how it is paving the way for others.
“This collaboration empowers Ecobank to implement sustainable objectives and generate significant impact.
According to him, this is a significant milestone and the first ever sustainability-linked loan to a sub-Saharan African financial institution.
Adepoju noted that the facility was linked to two major climate commitments, including climate disclosures and the definition of a climate strategy and climate action plan.
He explained that Proparco, in partnership with German consulting firm IPC, would provide long-term advisory support to ETI ’s teams to achieve the ambitious targets.
The GCFO said, ETI is the Lomé based parent company of the Ecobank Group, which oversees 33 banking subsidiaries across the African continent.
“Over the years, Proparco and Ecobank Group have continuously reinforced their partnership through Proparco’s provision of numerous loans, bond subscriptions and risk-sharing facilities.
“This includes trade finance to ETI and its subsidiaries, aimed at providing access to finance for underserved segments,” he said.
According to him, ETI has committed to developing a climate disclosure report to communicate on its green lending, exposure to carbon intensive sectors and exposure to physical climate risks.
Adepoju said that a climate strategy, including sustainable finance objectives and GHG emissions reduction targets for both operational and financed emissions, first sector decarbonisation strategies for the most carbon intensive sectors.
Mr Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Group, said that sustainability is integral to Ecobank’s mandate and pan-African purpose.
Awori stated that the signature of this sustainability-linked loan agreement was another confirmation of the seriousness which Ecobank accords to sustainability, as a responsibility and an opportunity.
He said: ” This sustainability-linked loan builds upon our success as the first pan-African banking group to issue Tier-2 Sustainability Notes in 2021.
“We take pride in paving the way for other financial institutions on the continent.
“We are grateful for the collaboration with our esteemed partners, led by Proparco, including Norfund, DEG, FMO, and European Financing Partners.
“Together, we are committed to making a positive impact and promoting sustainable financing practices across the continent.
Mr Françoise Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco, said the compay was proud to support a long-standing partner in integrating the climate agenda as a cornerstone of its strategy and operations.
Mr Tellef Thorleifsson, Chief Executive Officer of Norfund, said that the firm is proud to support ETI in its important role of providing essential financial services across the continent.
Acording to Mr Michael Fischer, DEG’s Director, Financial Institutions Africa, ETI is an important catalyst for climate action across the continent.
This, he noted, was by means of the facility and also perfectly aligned with DEG’s impact and climate strategy.
ETI is present in 35 sub-Saharan African countries, as well as France, the UK, UAE and China. Its unique pan-African platform provides a single gateway for payments, cash management, trade and investment.