Washington, DC, May 22, 2007 – The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, rated Aaa/AAA) has issued its first benchmark bond denominated in Euro (EUR). The EUR 1.5 billion bond represents not only a landmark in the World Bank’s global issuance program, but also an expansion of the capital markets product line used to finance its sustainable development mandate.
The bond pays a coupon of 4.25% and has a maturity of 3 years. The selection of a 3-year tenor responds to strong demand for bonds denominated in Euro in that part of the curve from an issuer with the highest credit rating. This is particularly relevant for the central bank community which is actively seeking high quality assets to diversify their Euro portfolios. The maturity and credit rating also appealed to private investors – especially those seeking socially responsible investments (SRI). Funds raised through the issuance of these bonds will be used in member countries for development programs that promote sustainable economic growth with the goal of overcoming poverty and improving the standards of living for people worldwide.
The bond was initially targeted as a EUR 1 billion offering. Once initial price guidance was released, the book grew quickly to exceed EUR 2.3 billion by the end of the first day of marketing. As a result of the strong demand, the transaction was increased and launched at EUR 1.5 billion in size. The final order book exceeded EUR 2.5 billion and included orders from 20 central banks/official institutions. The total book comprised more than 70 orders ranging in size from EUR 100,000 to EUR 200 million.
As the World Bank’s first Euro-denominated benchmark global, the issue represents a further extension of the World Bank’s strategy of engaging international investors in a variety of bond markets around the world. Since the beginning of 2006, the World Bank has issued and distributed globally benchmark bonds in US Dollars as well as in Australian Dollars, Mexican Pesos and Turkish Lira. The World Bank issued the world’s first-ever global bond, a US Dollar offering, in 1989. Subsequently, the World Bank issued global bonds in other currencies, including, in Europe, four Deutsche Mark-denominated global bonds in the 1990s.
This first Euro-denominated benchmark transaction was lead-managed by ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. Senior Co-Lead Managers are BNP Paribas, Dresdner Kleinwort and UBS. Co-Lead Managers are Banca Akros, Citigroup, Daiwa SMBC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ, Morgan Stanley, Natixis, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland and Toronto Dominion.
Investor distribution by region
Middle East and Africa: 26%
Asia including Japan: 17%
North America: 4%
Other Europe: 40%
Investor distribution by type
Central Banks and Official Institutions: 70%
Fund Managers: 10%
Pension and Insurance Funds: 6%
Summary terms and conditions
Amount: EUR 1.5 billion
Settlement date: May 30, 2007
Maturity Date: June 1, 2010
Issue / Re-offer price: 99.767%
Coupon: 4.25% annually
Spread: 5 basis points over the underlying government benchmark (obl 146)
Denomination: EUR 1,000 and multiples thereof
Format: Registered notes
Clearing systems: Euroclear and Clearstream Luxembourg
Swiss Valoren: 3127197
The notes are issued under the laws of England and documented under IBRD's Global Debt Issuance Facility. The notes will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and will settle through Euroclear and Clearstream Luxembourg. The notes are expected to qualify as eligible collateral for repurchase agreements for the European Central Bank’s open market operations.
“After having successfully issued four Deutsche Mark Global bonds in the 1990s, we are extremely pleased to have been able to issue our inaugural benchmark in Euro. We are delighted with the reception that this new bond has received, and it particularly illustrates the special nature of the relationship we have with global investors, especially central banks. I am also glad to see the value placed in our institution by the European investor base, to which we had not been able to issue a liquid benchmark in their home currency for quite some time,” said Doris Herrera-Pol, Head of Capital Markets Operations, World Bank Treasury.
“The World Bank has timed their long-awaited access to the most diverse international investor base perfectly with Euro government yields in their highest range for five years. This strongly-received Euro debut is another landmark for an issuer which has launched and enjoyed so many innovations and successes around the globe, and furthers The World Bank’s sustainable development message,” said Clinton Orr, Head of Public Sector Origination at ABN AMRO.
"The World Bank has once again proven to be truly strategic in its approach to capital markets financing. Reaching out to Euro investors with this landmark offering continues its strategy of engaging investors world-wide by providing investor-driven deals that increase the World Bank's capacity for reducing poverty on a global scale. Their intense focus on looking for the best deal, in terms of both bond pricing and secondary performance is exemplary. We are honoured to be awarded a joint lead role on the World Bank's first ever Euro benchmark," said Ralph Berlowitz, Managing Director, Head of Liquid Credit Syndicate at Deutsche Bank.
"In bringing this liquid transaction amidst optimal market conditions, the World Bank has once again established itself as a premier issuer in the markets. This debut Euro benchmark deal attracted a veritable Who’s Who investor list of Central Banks and Fund Managers, which will set the stage for further secondary market performance. A truly textbook inaugural Euro transaction for the World Bank,” said Jeff Diehl, Global Head of Public Sector Capital Markets at HSBC.
About the World Bank
The World Bank is a global development cooperative owned by 185 member countries. Its purpose is to help its members achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and find effective solutions to pressing regional and global problems in economic development and environmental sustainability, all with a view to overcoming poverty and improving standards of living for people worldwide.
To fulfill its mandate, the World Bank Group, working through four specialized entities, provides its members with financial services (loans, equity investments, risk management tools and credit enhancement), access to experts and a pool of knowledge in development-related disciplines as well as convening and strategic services to help members pool, administer and prioritize resources they dedicate to development-related objectives.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA, is the oldest and largest entity in the World Bank Group and provides funding, risk management tools and credit enhancement to sovereigns. To fund this activity, IBRD has been issuing debt securities in the international capital markets for 60 years. The World Bank’s mission to fight poverty and its investments in sustainable development, including in education, health and environment, make IBRD bonds suitable for socially responsible investors. The World Bank is also the Treasury Manager for the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), the world’s first multilateral issuer that provides grants for a specific development purpose – health and immunization programs.
The World Bank has gained recognition as one of the market’s most innovative borrowers. It pioneered the currency swap in 1981, the first global bond (1989) and the first fully electronic bond offering (2000), among other “firsts.” It was IFR’s “Borrower of the Decade” for the 1980s and recognized by bankers in a recent EuroWeek poll as “Most Innovative Borrower over the last 20 years.”
In 2006 the World Bank raised US$10 billion in medium- to long-term funding. The World Bank’s debt products are offered in a variety of currencies and include large bonds distributed globally as well as bonds tailored to retail or institutional investors in specific markets. World Bank debt products provide investors with the assurance of a superior credit rating, a wide choice of products and strong secondary market performance for liquid World Bank global bonds. The World Bank also customizes its debt offerings to meet investors' specific asset and liability needs.
For more information, see www.worldbank.org/debtsecurities.
The World Bank's bond products and investor presentation can be accessed through the website of the World Bank for bond investors (www.worldbank.org/debtsecurities). For a list of selected bonds issued recently by the World Bank, see: https://treasury.worldbank.org/recentissues.