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Netcare and Standard Bank launch Africa’s first sustainability-linked bond

JSE-listed Netcare, which operates a network of hospitals and other healthcare services in South Africa and Lesotho, has launched Africa’s first sustainability-linked bond, in partnership with Standard Bank.

Wednesday, March 17 2021

The coupon rate of these bonds is linked to the issuer’s achievement of certain pre-agreed sustainability performance targets. In Netcare’s case, the group aims to reduce its energy consumption, procure more renewable energy, reduce total carbon emissions, and further improve its water efficiency, partly by increasing its capacity to recycle grey water. In addition, Netcare is developing systems to ultimately convert all infectious healthcare risk waste (HCRW) produced on-site to inert products and achieve zero waste to landfill for waste, outside the HCRW stream, by 2030. 

Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare says, “Our comprehensive environmental sustainability strategy developed in 2013 is firmly on track to meet our 10-year goals and targets. Netcare is delighted to be part of a global community of healthcare institutions leading the transformation to climate-smart healthcare, and this innovative sustainability-linked bond will further assist us in achieving our longer term goals”.

On 16 March 2021 Netcare, with Standard Bank acting as Sole Arranger and Sustainability Agent, executed on the continent’s debut sustainability-linked bond (NTCG01). The bond will be listed on the interest rate market of the JSE on the 19th of March. Netcare raised a ZAR1 billion, 3 year, unsecured note priced at 5.4% (3 Month Jilbar +175bps). If Netcare achieves its climate change mitigation and water efficiency targets linked to the bond, it will benefit from a step down in the coupon rate. 

Carl Wiesner, Debt Capital Market Transactor at Standard Bank says, “Through the offering of the sustainability-linked bond, Netcare was able to access a deeper pool of liquidity at a compressed upfront pricing level, with the added incentive of a quantifiable future pricing benefit while investors are able to encourage positive forward looking sustainable corporate behaviour. The large level of interest the market has expressed for this transaction demonstrates the increasing importance of ESG driven investments in both the international and local capital markets”. 

Netcare has already made significant progress with its sustainability programme. As of 2020, the company has solar installations capable of generating more than 20GWh of renewable energy, and had achieved a 24% reduction in energy intensity per bed since 2013 against a goal of 22% by 2023. In 2020, scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 37% from 2013. 

The progress that Netcare has made towards being a leader in environmental sustainability within the healthcare sector in South Africa, and the world, was recognised when the company achieved the distinction of being the only healthcare institution globally to have received gold awards – the highest accolade – in each of the four categories in the international 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge Awards organised by Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH). The awards were for Greenhouse Gas Reduction [Energy], Renewable Energy, Climate Resilience and Climate Leadership. 

The company was also awarded the prestigious Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Sub Sahara African Corporate Company of the Year award in 2019, a global recognition across all industries.

Nigel Beck, Global Head Sustainable Finance at Standard Bank says, “Over the course of the last 12 months Standard Bank has been working closely with Netcare and institutional investors on a sustainability-linked product offering, advising on meaningful sustainability performance targets aligned to Netcare’s corporate strategy. We are encouraged by the overwhelming level of interest and demand the market has expressed for sustainable product offerings which was evidenced by the extent to which the bond was oversubscribed”. 

Along with other instruments, such as sustainability-linked loans, green bonds and social bonds, demand for sustainable finance solutions is rising fast in Africa.

Sustainability-linked corporate financing facilities offer clients an opportunity to directly fund ESG improvements, or to refinance existing general corporate funding with a solution that also delivers an indirect socio-economic benefit for the communities and environments in which they operate. Investor demand is partly being driven by the recognition that companies that operate in a sustainable manner tend to have lower risk profiles and outperform over the long term.

Ends.

Notes to Editors: 

About Netcare
The Netcare Group (JSE: NTC) offers a unique, comprehensive range of medical services across the healthcare spectrum, enabling us to serve the health and care needs of each individual who entrust their care to us. Our focus on implementing sophisticated digital systems will enable us to provide care that is fully integrated and an enhanced experience across our Group's operations. At Netcare, we are striving to change healthcare for the better. In addition to its world-class acute private hospital services, Netcare provides:

  • radiosurgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and robotic-assisted surgery through Netcare Cancer Care;
  • primary healthcare services through Medicross;
  • emergency medical services through Netcare 911;
  • occupational health and employee wellness services through Netcare Occupational Health;
  • mental health and psychiatric services through Akeso; 
  • innovative solutions to increase access to quality and affordable private healthcare through NetcarePlus; and
  • renal dialysis services through National Renal Care (NRC).

Netcare is also a leading private trainer of emergency medical and nursing personnel in the country.

For more information visit www.netcare.co.za.

Contact:    MNA on behalf of Netcare  
Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    connect@mnapr.co.za, martina@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za, estene@mnapr.co.za or clemmy@mnapr.co.za


About Standard Bank Group 
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets, operating in 20 African countries and 5 global financial centres. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB. 

Standard Bank has a 158-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.

Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth. 

The group has over 50 000 employees, more than 1100 branches and over 6500 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.  
Headline earnings for 2020 were R15.9 billion and total assets were R2.5 trillion (about USD170 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation as of 31 December 2020 was R209.4 billion (USD14 billion).

The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.
For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com

For further information please contact:
Refilwe Masemola 
+27 71 383 8718 
Media relations 
Refilwe.Masemola@standardbank.co.za 

 

The Netcare Group. Providing YOU with the best and safest care