Capital Markets

Acorn lists green bond at the NSE, eyes London

Mr Julius Court, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott and Acorn Holdings CEO Edward Kirathe
Head of the Department of International Development in Kenya, Mr Julius Court, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott and Acorn Holdings CEO Edward Kirathe during an event to mark Kenya’s first ever certified Sh5 billion corporate green bond last October. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Acorn Holdings has listed its Sh5 billion green bond on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and plans cross-listing in London next week.

Monday’s listing of the corporate bond at the Nairobi bourse was the first since the April 2017 Sh6 billion East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) #ticker:EABL bond, bringing hope of the resurrection of Kenya’s thinning bond market.

The listing will help keep tabs on the green bond’s performance, timely implementation of the projects and uptake.

“Hopefully next week Monday it will be the first Kenya shillings bond to list on the London Stock Exchange,” said Acorn chief executive Edward Kirathe.

According to the July 2019 bond framework, Acorn intends to report to investors within one year from the date of a green bond transaction and annually thereafter, for the lifetime of the bond.


British real estate developer Acorn, which raised 85 percent of its targeted Sh4.3 billion, had planned to complete the Sh810 million Nairobi West Qwetu by December last year to serve several universities and colleges including Strathmore University.

This year, the real estate firm plans to complete the Sh880 million Qwetu 3 United States International University Africa (USIU-A), and Sh740 million Qwetu 4 USIU-A by May 2021.

The two along Thika road will serve USIU-A, Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology students in Kasarani.

Qwetu Hurligham Phase 1 constructed for Sh990 million should also be completed by May 2021 while the Sh970 million Qwetu Chiromo phase 1 will be completed by January 2022.

The signature Qwetu hostels are rent out for 100 British pounds (Sh13,167) a month but the firm will launch lower variety dubbed Qejani for 60 British pounds (Sh7,909).

A Sh520 million Qejani Sirona Phase 1 hostels to be completed by January 2022, will serve University of Nairobi, Strathmore University, KCA University, Daystar University and Riara University.

Acorn previously said the projects have shown the capacity to pay for themselves having rolled out three purpose-built student accommodation properties with more than 1,500 beds that surpassed expectations. The first two properties on Jogoo Road and Ruaraka achieved over 90 per cent occupancy levels in 15 months and less than 12 months respectively. The third property in Parklands opened in March 2019.

It has been able to service the existing debt on Jogoo Road and Ruaraka properties from the net operating income of the existing properties at the current occupancy levels.