Letshego lists first social bond on NSX

Letshego Holdings Namibia Limited, a subsidiary of the pan-African finance entity that has a presence in 11 African markets, listed the group’s first social bond on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).
The group’s inaugural social listing received total bids to the value of N$322 million and successfully issued N$260 million three-year senior unsecured notes across five investors.
Since its IPO, “Ekwafo Letu” (meaning “support” in Oshiwambo) in 2017, the Namibian subsidiary invested and leveraged the local capital market with various medium-term note programmes, diversifying its funding sources and benefiting from local currency funding.
Celebrating the listing, Letshego Namibia’s Country Chief Executive, Dr Ester Kali said that “a social bond listing evidences our commercial purpose to improve lives while leveraging the opportunity to access a rapidly increasing pool of social financing, globally. Social bonds not only introduce Letshego Namibia to an expanded pool of social investors but also deepen stakeholder confidence in our credentials given industry and listing regulations’ require independent evaluations and approvals of our Social Financing Framework before listing.”
Social bond issuances need to be guided by local market nuances and anchored by global and local industry guidelines and regulations. Although several regional Letshego subsidiaries already access local capital via bond listings, Letshego Namibia is the first subsidiary to list a social bond, tapping into Africa’s growing social financing opportunities.
Letshego Namibia’s social bond has been structured in alignment with the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles, the proceeds of which will support Letshego Namibia’s strategy to increase access, reach and affordability of productive financial solutions for more Namibians as more specifically outlined in Letshego Namibia’s Social Finance Framework (SSF). This includes the support of underserved individuals, micro and small entrepreneurs and small business owners, with inclusive products like affordable housing, healthcare and education.
RMB, a recognised leader in bringing social and green bonds to Namibia and regional stock exchanges, acted as Letshego Namibia’s arranger, dealer, NSX debt sponsor, sustainability advisor and coordinator.