KCB Group Plc. , Kenya’s biggest bank by assets, plans to issue the nation’s first green bond by a commercial lender in 2022, according to Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara.
“A green bond is one of the key actions we are looking at in our market,” Oigara said in an interview on Thursday in the capital, Nairobi. “We are probably the most ready institution to move in that direction in the coming year.”
KCB is one of three lenders in the Middle East and Africa that are part of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, an initiative by global banks to ensure their investments and lending practices help to cut emissions by 2050, according to the United Nations.
The Nairobi-based bank with operations in six eastern African markets is training employees to check customer’s environmental and social impact before lending. KCB expects loans for climate-friendly projects to account for 25% of its total loan book by the end of 2024, from 7%, according to Oigara.
The lender will give loans to projects in energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and housing developments. This should contribute to the bank’s loan book growing by as much as 20% next year, Oigara said.