The first issue of Italian Lire bonds of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will be offered for public subscription in Italy beginning on July 3, 1961. Subscription books will remain open until July 6, 1961. This is the first flotation on the Italian market by a non-Italian issuer in more than twenty-five years.
The offering consists of Lit. 15 billion (approximately $24 million) of 15-year 5 percent bonds at a price of par to the public. A syndicate of seven Italian banks, headed by the Bank of Italy, are serving as underwriters. The other banks in the syndicate are Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Banco di Napoli, Banco di Sicilia, Banca Commerciale Italiana, Credito Italiano and Banco di Roma.
The new bonds will be dated July 1, 1961 and mature on July l, 1976. They will be subject to redemption in whole on in part, at par, on and after July 1, 1966. In the event of partial redemption, bonds to be red be chosen by lot. The World Bank has the right at any time to purchase bonds in the market, at or below par.
Application will be made for listing the new Lire issue on the Rome and Milan Stock Exchanges.
Giving effect to the current issue, total outstanding funded debt of the World Bank aggregates the equivalent of about $2,255,000,000, including $1,700,000,000 of U.S. dollar bonds and notes and the equivalent of $555,000,000 in obligations denominated in seven currencies other than U.S. dollars.
Eugene R. Black, President of the World Bank, stressed the importance of the Bank's entry onto the Italian investment market. As an international agency, he pointed out, "it is vital that the Bank be able to tap the widest possible pool of investment funds throughout the world's capital markets. The willingness of Italy to permit this export of capital is a further indication of the impressive growth of her economy.”