Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the book-runners and mandated lead arrangers on a US$1.75bn ESG-linked credit facility to Emirates NBD Bank PJSC (ENBD), involving a syndicate of leading international banks. This is ENBD’s debut ESG-linked loan and one of the region’s first sustainability-linked loans.
Bank of America and Emirates NBD Capital Limited were appointed as Global Coordinators and Sustainability Coordinators and ING Bank NV and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited were appointed as the Sustainability Advisors.
Evidencing its commitment to measurable environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, ENBD has added sustainability metrics including gender diversity in senior management roles and water conservation to the pricing of its loan. The Norton Rose Fulbright team assisted with the review of the ESG performance requirements, advising the Mandated Lead Arrangers, and incorporating the ESG KPIs into the loan documentation.
The Dubai-based Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by banking and finance partner Nicholas Robinson, with advice on the ESG side from partner Louisa Lynch, head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s sustainability practice in the Middle East region. They were supported by associate Noren Bhulji.
Nicholas Robinson commented: “We are proud to have advised the lenders to Emirates NBD on this landmark ESG-linked credit facility, and expect this type of loan will be the first of many for the region as the world looks towards more sustainable financing options. Promoting sustainable finance ahead of 2030 is a $1.5 trillion focus for Bank of America, and this loan helps the bank work towards its aims to create a greener economy through lending, capital raising, advisory and investment services to help low-carbon and other sustainable businesses.”
Louisa Lynch added: “ESG continues to grow in importance for organisations, with 2021 seeing more and more businesses putting proper measurable objectives in place to track their ESG performance. This is a milestone for the region, and ENBD is truly market-leading in its efforts to track and add meaning to the strides it’s making in gender diversity and water conservation.”