POST TIME: 12 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 November, 2019 12:39:14 AM
First taka-denominated bond launched on London bourse
Agencies, Dhaka

First taka-denominated bond launched on London bourse

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, along with officials from the government, IFC, LSE and other organisations, attend the enlistment ceremony 'The Ring, The Bell' of the first-ever Bangladeshi Taka-denominated bond ‘Bangla Bond’ at the London Stock Exchange in London yesterday. Photo: Courtesy

The first-ever Bangladeshi Taka-denominated bond titled "Bangla Bond" was listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) yesterday which will help Bangladesh raise money from overseas investment. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister concern of the World Bank, floated the bond, said the Bangladesh High Commission in London. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem attended the enlistment ceremony ‘The Ring, The Bell’ at the LSE. Finance Minister Kamal highlighted the robust economic growth and major macroeconomic development in Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He hoped that “Bangla Bond” would help raise money from overseas investment which will be invested back in Bangladesh for further strengthening its private sector.

The finance minister welcomed the issuance of the inaugural Bangla bond, saying, “The issuance of the ‘Bangla Taka Bond’ is the beginning of a long journey to our destination.”

Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange Plc and Director of International Development, LSEG said, “This landmark bond from IFC paves the way for the opening of the global Bangla bond market and raises the profile of the Bangladeshi Taka internationally.”

“London is a leading exchange for local currency issuance, with Masala, Dim Sum and Komodo bonds raising in excess of $23 billion on our markets. We are delighted to welcome the Bangladeshi Taka to London and congratulate IFC on their pioneering transaction,” added Nikhil.

IFC Vice President for Asia and Pacific, Nena Stoiljkovic, said, “The Bangla bond, issued by triple A-rated IFC, will help provide Taka-denominated solutions for fast-growing corporates in agribusiness, manufacturing and financial services. We look forward to remaining an active partner in Bangladesh’s journey to attain greater prosperity.”

IFC Vice President and Treasurer John Gandolfo said, “The issuance of the inaugural Bangla bond is a significant capital markets innovation and milestone for Bangladesh. IFC is committed to expanding local currency financing in emerging markets. In Bangladesh, we plan to continue issuing Taka bonds to fund local currency transactions.” A press release said IFC issues local currency-denominated bonds in emerging market currencies as part of its regular program of raising funds for private sector and domestic capital markets development.

In many cases, IFC is the first, or among the first, nonresident issuers in local currency both in domestic and international markets. IFC bonds are rated triple-A by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.

A large number of UK government and IFC officials and investors from the UK and Bangladesh were present.

The IFC is the guarantor of Bangla Bond in the international market. Initially, the Bangla Bond is equivalent to US$10 million on the London bourse and it will have a three-year maturity, with a 6.3 percent annual rate of interest.

IFC raised 800million Bangladeshi Taka (approximately USD 9.5 million equivalent) of three-year bonds, which secured strong international investor support, said the LSE.

The proceeds of the bonds will be used to provide similar tenor funding to the PRAN Group, the leading Bangladeshi processed food and beverage manufacturer and the largest private sector employer in Bangladesh, for expansion of their processing capacities and deepening the rural distribution reach, it said.

Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch were lead arrangers on the bond. IFC plans to continue to issue Taka bonds to fund local currency transactions in the country.

“The Ring, The Bell” ceremony is scheduled to be followed by an ‘Investor’s Roundtable’ to showcase Bangladesh’s growth story and investment opportunities.

IFC and LSE will jointly organise the roundtable, said the Bangladesh High Commission in London. Bangladesh finance minister, prime minister’s private industry and investment advisor, IFC Vice-President for Asia and Pacific Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Treasury Client Solutions Director Keshav Gaur and IFC South Asia Director Mengistu Alemayehu will speak at the press briefing scheduled to be held later in the day.