Today the World Bank announced a new Global Debt Issuance Facility (GDIF). Replacing the World Bank's existing multicurrency note program, the GDIF will be the general documentation platform for a wide range of the Bank's bonds, ranging from international benchmark issues to small private placements.
To a large extent, the Global Debt Issuance Facility is based upon the Bank's prior Global Multicurrency Note Program. However, there are some notable changes. There are no sponsoring dealers. Total volume limitations for the debt issuance facility and maturity limitations for specific transactions have been removed. The Global Debt Issuance Facility also builds upon the flexibility found in the Bank's previous program. For example, the GDIF documentation format now encompasses equity-linked issues.
While most borrowers rely on a defined group of dealers to sell their bonds and support their issues in the secondary market, the absence of sponsoring dealers is becoming more common for borrowers with widely-diversified investor bases, such as the Bank. In fiscal year 1997, the Bank employed over 50 different lead managers in its borrowing operations. "It would send the wrong signal to the market to single out a limited number of our financing partners as sponsoring dealers when the Bank enjoys the support of a much larger group of firms," comments the Bank's Treasurer, Gary Perlin.
In fiscal year l997, the Bank raised a total of USD equivalent $18 billion through securities issued in 18 different currencies, with maturities ranging from three months to over thirty years. The streamlined procedures under the new GDIF will simplify documentation requirements for the Bank's debt offerings. The Bank looks forward to the continued support of its fundraising efforts by both investors and underwriters under the new facility.
The GDIF will take effect as of October 7, 1997.