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Hospital operator Mediclinic gets Africa’s first sustainability-linked loan By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : A Mediclinic sign is visible in Dubai, UAE on February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Mediclinic has refinanced 8.45 billion rand ($575.26 million) in loans through Rand Merchant Bank, the hospital operator said on Tuesday, in what the bank described as Africa’s first sustainability-linked banking facility.

South African banks are being criticized by investors and environmentalists because they have not done enough to reach sustainability goals and allow for funding of fossil fuel-based projects.

The top four largest banks of South Africa have responded to pressure by reducing their coal funding and increasing exposure for renewable and sustainable projects.

“Mediclinic Southern Africa will enjoy a decreased facility margin due to an incentive-based pricing system, if it meets pre-agreed sustainability performances targets,” said the third largest hospital chain operator in South Africa.

It stated that the targets directly relate to the key environmental and social goals to become carbon neutral by 2030 with no waste to landfill.

, a division of FirstRand Ltd, said the loan was Africa’ first syndicated sustainability-linked loan arranged by a bank in Africa.

FirstRand South Africa is one of the most prominent banks in South Africa. It announced last week that it will stop financing new coal-fired electricity stations and mines, as part its effort to reduce emissions.

This bank is one of only two in South Africa that has explicitly stated that it will stop funding fossil fuel-based financing.

Nedbank Group, which announced it in April that it would cease funding thermal coal mining by 2025 and plan to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels over the next 24-years, had previously stated this.

($1 = 14.6889 rand)

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