Home » Laurie Dippenaar’s FirstRand secures $250 million IFC green housing loan

Laurie Dippenaar’s FirstRand secures $250 million IFC green housing loan

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Laurie Dippenaar

Key Points:

  • FirstRand gets a $250 million loan from IFC to support green buildings and affordable housing.
  • The loan will also be used for loans targeted towards women-owned businesses.
  • The agreement includes capacity building for FirstRand and aims to promote green lending practices.

FirstRand, a leading financial services group co-founded by South African tycoon Laurie Dippenaar, has secured a $250 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private investment arm, to support green building initiatives and affordable housing loans.

The funding consists of a $200 million direct loan from IFC and up to $50 million mobilized through the managed co-lending portfolio program. The agreement allocates a portion of the funds specifically for affordable housing and loans targeted toward women-owned businesses.

FirstRand, IFC partner for climate-smart homes

“IFC’s partnership with FirstRand goes beyond providing vital funding for access to housing,’’ said Cláudia Conceição, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa, in an emailed note. “This initiative will expand green-certified construction loans and home mortgages, contributing to a more climate-friendly and resilient housing sector in South Africa.”

Beyond the financial injection, the agreement includes capacity building for FirstRand’s personnel, including appraisers, loan officers, and construction partners. IFC will also advise on product development to further green lending practices. 

The funding aligns with South Africa’s national goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent by 2025, with green buildings identified as a key solution.

FirstRand’s new bond issuance and Dippenaar’s $363 million stake

FirstRand, Africa’s leading financial services group by market capitalization, was co-founded by Laurie Dippenaar in 1977. The group provides a diverse range of financial products and services to individual and corporate clients across the continent. 

Dippenaar currently holds a 1.76-percent stake in FirstRand, representing 98,726,988 shares. With his stake valued at more than $363 million, he ranks among South Africa’s richest individuals.

In a separate move, FirstRand received approval to list a new R300 million ($16.22 million) senior unsecured bond on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The issuance strengthens the company’s debt portfolio and promotes long-term financial stability.

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