Ansar Ahmed Ullah
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on Monday 11 November issued its inaugural bond in Bangladeshi Taka, raising 800 million BDT, approximately USD 9.5 million equivalent, to expand operations and distribution for PRAN Group, one of Bangladesh’s leading processed food and beverage manufacturers, and a major private sector employer in the country. This is the first-ever Bangladeshi Taka-denominated transaction issued in the international markets.
The bond, dubbed ‘Bangla’, has just been listed on the London Stock Exchange. The three-year bond was placed with asset managers dedicated to emerging markets, with the deal arranged by Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The proceeds of the bonds will be used to provide financing to the PRAN Group, to boost their processing capacities and deepen the rural distribution reach.
London Stock Exchange welcomed the listing to its Main Market. Nikhil Rathi, CEO, 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.”
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.”
The Finance Minister of Bangladesh, AHM Mustafa Kamal, 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.”
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.