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Thursday, 1 October 2020

World Bank green-lights USD 200 mn loan to tackle air pollution

World Bank green-lights USD 200 mn loan to tackle air pollution: The World Bank has approved a USD 200 mn loan to improve Greater Cairo’s air quality, reduce emissions and improve solid waste management as part of what is being named a “green recovery” project, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat said on Wednesday. The project aims to modernize air quality monitoring systems, establish safe landfills in Tenth of Ramadan City, safely eliminate dumps in Abu Zaabal, set up charging stations for electric vehicles, and support other green initiatives.

The World Bank is also providing Egypt with technical assistance on how to best allocate the proceeds from our maiden USD 750 mn sovereign green bond issuance, which went to market on Tuesday, said Vice Minister of Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk. The agreement between the Finance Ministry and the World Bank will see the international lender help in preparing annual reports on the use of funds and ensure projects are in step with the International Capital Markets Association’s (ICMA) Green Bond protocols.

Egypt earlier this week held the MENA region’s first-ever sovereign green bond offering, which saw the government raise some USD 750 mn. The five-year bonds, which were 5x oversubscribed and sold at a 5.25% yield, will be used to finance Egypt’s USD 1.9 bn portfolio of green projects. The inaugural issuance also comes as part of the government’s debt diversification strategy, which entails a shift towards longer-term debt, that the government hopes will constitute some 52% of borrowing by June 2022.

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