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PRESS RELEASE April 15, 2020

World Bank Prices GBP 3-Year Benchmark, Highlights COVID-19 Response and Health Programs in Member Countries

Washington, D.C., April 15, 2020 — The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) priced a 3-year GBP global benchmark, raising GBP 1.5 billion from investors around the globe. World Bank bonds support the financing of a range of sustainable development projects and programs in member countries, including health.

This issuance is part of the World Bank’s effort to raise awareness about the institution’s health program, with an emphasis on how the World Bank is working with member countries to support their efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

The high-quality order book exceeded GBP 1.8 billion and attracted over 60 investors. The bond offers an annual coupon of 0.500% and a semi-annual yield of 0.544%.  It was priced at +48 basis points over the 0.750% UK Gilt due July 2023. HSBC, NatWest Markets, RBC CM, and TD Securities were joint lead managers for this transaction.

We are gratified to see the strong support of investors for the World Bank’s sterling benchmark in these truly challenging times. The transaction is part of the World Bank’s issuance program, which raises funds to support our member’s sustainable development programs, including those providing immediate and critical responses to COVID-19 and as countries recover, programs that address the socio-economic impacts of the crisis on people, jobs, and national economies,” said  Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank.


Investor Distribution by Investor Type

Investor Distribution by Region

Banks/Bank Treasuries/Corporates


United Kingdom


Central Banks/Official Institutions




Asset Managers/Insurance/Pension Funds


Europe (non-UK)/Middle East






“An impressive return to the sterling market for World Bank issuing the first new SSA line since February, but more importantly, demonstrating despite tougher market conditions, World Bank is able to still raise large size across the currencies. This is especially crucial in light of the heightened financing requirements across the globe due to the COVID-19 crisis," said Asif Sherani, MD, Head of SSA Syndicate, HSBC.

“This deal is testament to the World Bank’s ability to revitalize primary markets in the face of volatility. The extremely high-quality book is evidence of the IBRD’s safe haven status amongst the sterling investor community.  At GBP 1.5 billion, this deal is the largest 3- year print to date. We are very proud to be involved at NatWest Markets,” said Damien Carde, Managing Director, Head of Frequent Borrower Group DCM, NatWest Markets.

“World Bank has added yet another blockbuster result to their impressive record of success in the sterling market. The very timely issuance in support of the World Bank’s sustainable development activities including global health and well-being programs resonated with investors during this difficult period and the result speaks for itself.  This transaction combined with a spectacular 5y USD outing today shows that World Bank’s members can always count on this august institution to deliver,” said Jigme Shingsar, Managing Director, Debt Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets.

“The World Bank has again proven its exceptional standing in global capital markets with this new sterling benchmark bond. The transaction was well-timed following recent market volatility and is a testament to the appeal of the World Bank name against a backdrop of unprecedented global economic crisis. We congratulate the full World Bank team on a successful day in global capital markets.” John Moore, Vice Chair & Regional Head, Europe and Asia Pacific, TD Securities


Transaction Summary


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

Issuer rating:

Aaa /AAA (Moody's/S&P)


GBP 1.5 billion

Settlement date:

April 22, 2020

Maturity date:

July 24, 2023

Issue price:


Issue yield:

0.544% semi-annual 


GBP 1,000


0.500% per annum


Luxembourg Stock Exchange



Clearing system:

Euroclear / Clearstream Luxembourg

Joint lead managers:

HSBC, NatWest Markets, RBC CM, TD Securities

With annual issuances between US$55-US$65 billion, World Bank bonds support the financing of programs that further the Sustainable Development Goals. World Bank bonds are aligned with the sustainability bond guidelines published by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA). The World Bank is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bond and Social Bond Principles. A key priority for the World Bank’s capital markets’ engagement is building strategic partnerships with investors to promote the importance of private sector financing in sustainable development.

For more information on the World Bank Group and COVID-19




This press release is not an offer for sale of securities of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("IBRD"), also known in the capital markets as "World Bank". Any offering of World Bank securities will take place solely on the basis of the relevant offering documentation including, but not limited to, the prospectus, term sheet and/or final terms, as applicable, prepared by the World Bank or on behalf of the World Bank, and is subject to restrictions under the laws of several countries. World Bank securities may not be offered or sold except in compliance with all such laws.


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 and other creditworthy 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.



Heike Reichelt, Head of Investor Relations and New Products

World Bank Treasury