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IDC to issue green bond, divest shares

Apr 24 2012 15:31 Reuters

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Cape Town - The  Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a state-owned financing institution, will raise R5bn to invest in domestic green economy initiatives, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday.

Patel told parliament during his budget vote speech the IDC will issue a green bond that will be taken up by the Public Investment Corporation with a 14-year tenure "to raise the resources to invest actively in the green economy".

A green bond is exempt from tax and will usually fund an underdeveloped site.

The IDC also said it would over the next five years divest some shares from its holdings in listed and unlisted companies.

The IDC did not say how much it plans to divest from its R80bn portfolio, or release details on what shares are on its chopping block. It will keep its strategic stakes in petrochemical company Sasol and iron ore miner Kumba.

"The divestment from mature investments is very much part of the IDC's business model," Gert Gouws, the IDC's chief financial officer, separately told journalists.

The IDC, which invests in green energy industries, mining and the manufacturing sectors of Africa's largest economy, has a 13% stake in Kumba and just under 8% in Sasol.

Gouws said the value of the IDC's shares in listed companies was in excess of R50bn, while in unlisted companies it was "north" of R30bn.
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