London Stock Exchange Group (LSE Group) has recorded remarkable feats at the recently concluded UK-Africa Investment summit held in London.
They include the listing of two unique bonds, as well as signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
Acorn Holdings listed its Kenyan Shilling green bond on London Stock Exchange. This made it the first Kenya shilling denominated corporate green bond to be listed in the United Kingdom. The bond is also the first from an African issuer to list on London’s Sustainable Bond Market. The bond’s proceeds will finance environmentally friendly accommodation for 5,000 university students in Nairobi.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)also issued its first Rwandan Franc bond on London Stock Exchange’s Main Market. This is also the first bond IBRD has issued in London. According to the World Bank, the Rwandan Franc-denominated bonds offer investors an annual coupon of 9.25% and the interest is payable in US dollars. The bonds list on January 24, 2020 and mature on January 20, 2023.
In the long run, issuing a Rwandan Franc-denominated bond with foreign investors also helps build demand for Rwanda’s debt beyond local investors, and diversify funding sources to include additional investors.
We are delighted to further extend our partnerships across Africa and welcome these significant bonds to London Stock Exchange. International local currency listings can help issuers raise capital without bearing foreign exchange risk, as well as help issuers develop profiles to set benchmark yields for future issuances. We look forward to continuing to support African capital markets and the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”
Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange and Director of International Development, London Stock Exchange Group
Furthermore, London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support Ghanaian businesses raising equity and debt capital both domestically and internationally. The MoU will establish a path forward to support:
- Cross-listing between London Stock Exchange and Ghana Stock Exchange
- The establishment of centralised corporate news dissemination platform in Ghana to promote efficient disclosure practice and price formation
- Sharing of experiences of UK stock market demutualization
- Supporting Ghana in taking the steps required for moving from frontier to emerging market categorisation;
- Supporting future public market fund raising for Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund
The listing of these bonds, therefore, showcase London’s position as a leading international listing venue for African issuers, sustainable finance and a centre of excellence for offshore local currency bonds.
Furthermore, London also welcomed IPOs from African firms, Airtel Africa and Helios Towers in 2019. Helios Towers is the second company featured in LSEG’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report to list in London, following Vivo Energy’s IPO in 2018.
The ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ is a one-year report report by PwC in collaboration with LSE Group. It celebrates significant achievements over the previous year by some of Africa’s most dynamic growth businesses.