Egypt market regulator in talks with IFC on green bond-eligible projects

Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) is in talks with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support green bond-eligible projects by next year, an official in the authority said Tuesday.

The authority encourages the development of a new financial tool to support green growth in Egypt, said Sina Bassam, advisor to the FRA chairman for sustainable development.

A green bond is like a normal bond, but with an additional commitment to deploying its financing to genuinely green projects that address key areas of environmental concern such as climate change, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and pollution.

Sina Bassam, advisor to the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) chairman for sustainable development during a conference, which celebrates the FRA’s 10 anniversary, in Cairo on Tuesday, 10 December, 2019.

The authority seeks to apply its sustainable development principles on all the non-banking financial activities in the country, Bassam added during a conference in Cairo.

Egypt is in the pipeline for green bond issuance in 2020, according to FRA chairman Mohamed Omran’s announcement last month.

Omran announced in early November that his authority would lower service and inspection fees on green bonds by 50 percent in a bid to encourage issuances of these new funding tools. The fees would fall to 0.05 percent for IPOs and 0.025 percent for private placements.

Last year, FRA developed guidelines for issuing green bonds with the support of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. They are based on the international guidance provided by the industry-leading Green Bond Principles.