World Bank Approved as the First SDR Bond Issuer in China

August 12, 2016

Washington, DC, August 12, 2016 – The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) announced today that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has approved the World Bank’s inaugural issue in the Chinese domestic market of bonds denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).  The World Bank is the first entity to receive such approval and it marks the launch of the SDR bond market in the world’s second-largest economy.

“This is a landmark development for China’s bond market and for the SDR as an international reserve asset,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "We are very pleased to support China’s growing role in global financial markets. World Bank issuance of SDR bonds in China will support the G-20’s objective of expanding the use of SDRs and help promote the development of China’s domestic capital market. It will also increase Chinese investors’ access to foreign currencies in the domestic bond market, while opening up new opportunities for international investors seeking high-quality investment products in the country.”

The size of the World Bank’s new issuance program is 2 billion SDRs (approximately equivalent to USD 2.8 billion). The bonds will be denominated in SDRs and payable in Chinese renminbi (RMB). The precise timing of issue and individual bond terms will be based on market conditions at the time of issuance. 

"The World Bank Treasury appreciates China’s approval of the World Bank as the first issuer of SDR-denominated bonds in its domestic market as a further step in the internationalization of the Chinese capital markets. It shows the vital role the World Bank plays in opening new markets and developing local capital markets," said World Bank Vice President and Treasurer Arunma Oteh. "World Bank SDR-denominated bonds in the Chinese market are a fantastic opportunity for Chinese investors to support the World Bank's sustainable development activities through a new product. These bonds will also be attractive to international investors seeking SDR products to hedge SDR liabilities."

The World Bank (IBRD) raises USD 50-60 billion in the international capital markets each year, by offering investors a variety of products in over 20 currencies. The new SDR program in China is part of the World Bank’s strategy to open and support the development of new markets and will expand World Bank’s product offerings, attracting new domestic and international investors to World Bank bonds.

SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) are an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969 to supplement its member countries' official reserves. The value of the SDR is currently based on four major currencies: the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound. The Chinese renminbi will join the SDR basket of reserve currencies on October 1, 2016.

The law firm of King & Wood Mallesons (Hong Kong and Beijing) is acting as counsel for the World Bank on the bond issue.


The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization created in 1944 and the original member of the World Bank Group. It operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. It provides its members with financing, expertise and coordination services so they can achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and find effective solutions to pressing regional and global economic and environmental problems. The World Bank has two main goals: to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It seeks to achieve them primarily by providing loans, risk management products, and expertise on development-related disciplines to its borrowing member government clients in middle-income countries and other creditworthy countries, and by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. It has been issuing sustainable development bonds in the international capital markets for over 60 years to fund its activities that achieve a positive impact. Information on World Bank bonds for investors is available on the World Bank Treasury website:

Important Notice: The information set forth herein does not constitute a recommendation of the bonds referred to. It merely provides information of a general nature and is not a recommendation to acquire the bonds, an offer to sell or issue the bonds or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or invitation to tender or subscribe for the bonds.  No part of this press release, nor the fact of its distribution, should form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or commitment or investment decision whatsoever.  Any offer and sale of the bonds referred to herein will solely take place on the basis of an offering circular prepared by the World Bank in connection with the bonds.  A decision to invest in the bonds must not be made solely in reliance on this press-release but should be taken on the basis of the offering circular.  The bonds will only be offered to institutional investors of the Interbank Bonds Market in the People’s Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong, the Macau Special Administrative Region and Taiwan, China).

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