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Source: Small Island Developing States

21 August 2019: The World Bank priced its first USD benchmark bond of the 2020 fiscal year, with a five-year, USD 3.5 billion global issue. There were orders from upwards of 90 investors in over 20 countries, including central banks, corporates, asset managers and pension and insurance funds, the Bank reported, noting the bond’s support for sustainable development.

The largest concentration of investors is based in Europe, with 40% of investors based in the region, followed by Asia at 36% and the Americas at 21%. Nearly half of investors are classified as banks, bank treasuries or corporates, followed by central banks and official institutions representing 38% of investors.

With a AAA issuer rating and 1.526% issue yield, Andrea Dore, World Bank, described the offering as a “safe and liquid product that enables [investors] to achieve a positive social and development impact.” A top priority for the Bank is to build partnerships with market participants on—and awareness of—sustainable development challenges and opportunities, she indicated.

Joint lead managers for the bond are Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and TD Securities. Senior leadership from the financial sector praised the issue as demonstrating a commitment to stability in volatile markets, noting that the World Bank is “reopening the market after a sustained period without benchmark supply.”

The World Bank issues between USD 50 and 60 billion annually in bonds for sustainable development. [World Bank Press Release]

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News