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PRESS RELEASE September 21, 2018

World Bank Prices Successful US$4 Billion 5-Year Global Benchmark Bond

Washington, D.C., September 20, 2018 –The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) priced a US$4 billion, 5-year global benchmark bond for sustainable development. This is the World Bank’s first global issuance with a 5-year maturity in more than year, and its second global issuance in fiscal 2019.*

The high-quality order book was significantly oversubscribed, with orders for over US$ 5.4 billion from over 90 investors from 26 countries. Central banks and official institutions placed the majority of orders; other investors included bank treasuries, corporates, asset managers, and pension and insurance funds.  

Joint lead managers for this global bond are Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities.

The transaction opened for indications of interest on September 19 at 3.45 pm London time, with an initial price guidance of mid-swaps plus 3 basis points area. When the books formally opened on September 20 at 8.20 am London time, there were over US$2.25 billion in indications of interest. Within a few hours, with a revised price guidance to mid-swaps plus 2 basis points, demand had grown in excess of US$3.75 billion.  Order books closed at 3 pm London time, with the spread set at mid-swaps plus 2 basis points and a final order book in excess of US$5.4 billion.

“We are delighted to return to the global market with our first 5-year issuance in more than a year. The terrific result is due to the strong support from high quality investors around the world, and we are grateful for the continued partnership with market participants looking for opportunities that combine safety, liquidity, and positive social impact,” said Arunma Oteh, Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank.

The 5-year benchmark has a semi-annual coupon of 3.000% per annum and a maturity date of September 27, 2023.  It offers investors a yield of 3.089%, equivalent to 14.14 basis points over the 2.750% UST due August 31, 2023.

Lars Humble, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs International, said: “This was a hugely successful US dollar benchmark transaction for the World Bank and we were delighted to be involved. The issuer capitalized on a constructive market backdrop, with the back-up in rates over the past two weeks resulting in strong investor appetite for top rated issuers. The quality of the book was exceptional, with central banks taking a significant portion of the deal. On the back of the strong investor demand, the World Bank was able to tighten the pricing from guidance of MS+3bps area to MS+2bps, and the size of the transaction was set at US$4 billion with a final book of over US$5.4 billion including US$100 million of joint lead manager interest”.

Hector Snuggs, Head of London SSA DCM, HSBC, said: "An impressive result for World Bank, yet again, in the US dollar market. Today’s benchmark is not just one of the tightest 5-year prints relative to MS in recent years, but also one of the largest this year. The breadth of demand underscores once again World Bank’s unrivalled investor appeal, and welcome return to the tenor after a 20-month hiatus." 

Jigme Shingsar, Managing Director, RBC Debt Capital Markets, said: “World Bank’s very impressive return to the US dollar market once again demonstrates their ability to execute at Treasury surrogate-like levels.  Matching the tightest SSA 5-year pricing versus mid-swaps this year but for twice the transaction size and then pricing at the tightest Treasury spread of the year for good measure – the success of this transaction speaks for itself.”

Laura O’Connor, Director, TD Securities, said: “The World Bank team have once again confirmed their exceptional presence in the US dollar market with this transaction and continue to break records with the tightest spread to US Treasuries we have seen this year-to-date. By offering a liquid US$4 billion benchmark to investors in a part of the curve that the World Bank has not accessed since January 2017, the demand from both central banks and bank treasuries was understandably robust. Congratulations to the World Bank team on a highly successful transaction.”

The World Bank issues between US$50-US$60 billion annually in bonds for sustainable development. These range from structured notes that highlight the Sustainable Development Goals to benchmark-sized issuances that cover a variety of impact themes including climate, education, gender, health, social services and clean water and sanitation. A key priority for the World Bank’s engagement in the capital markets is to build strategic partnerships with investors and other market participants to raise awareness for development challenges and accelerate opportunities to mobilize finance for development.

* World Bank (IBRD) fiscal year starts July 1 and ends June 30.


Investor Distribution:

By Geography









Middle East and Africa



By Investor Type

Central Banks/Official Institutions


Banks/Bank Treasuries/Corporates


Asset Managers/Insurance/Pension Funds



Transaction Summary:


World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD)

Issuer rating:

Aaa /AAA




USD 4 billion

Settlement date:

September 27, 2018


3.000% Fixed, S/A, 30/360

Coupon payment dates:

27 March and 27 September, commencing on 27 March 2019

Maturity date:

September 27, 2023

Issue price:


Issue yield:



Luxembourg Stock Exchange

Clearing systems:

Fedwire, Euroclear, Clearstream



Lead managers:

Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities

Senior Co-Leads:

BMO Capital Markets, CastleOak, Incapital, Wells Fargo


Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche, Credit Agricole, MUFG, Natixis, Nomura, SEB, Citi, JP Morgan, BoAML, Morgan Stanley, Tokai Tokyo, Credit Suisse


About the World Bank

The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization. Created in 1944, it is the original member of the World Bank Group and operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations.

The World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income countries to support the Sustainable Development Goals and to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It also provides leadership to coordinate regional and global responses to development challenges.

The World Bank has been issuing sustainable development bonds in the international capital markets for over 70 years to fund programs and activities that achieve a positive impact. More information on World Bank bonds is available at www.worldbank.org/debtsecurities.