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Bangladesh to launch first taka bond on London bourse today

Published: November 11, 2019 11:24:11 | Updated: November 12, 2019 11:27:11


The government is floating the first taka bond worth around millions of dollars on London Stock Exchange today (Monday).

Backed by the World Bank Group’s private sector lending arm International Finance Corporation, the taka-denominated bond is part of a plan to raise funds to invest in private infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Bangladesh.

Initially, about $10 million will be drawn through bond sales, said Shehzeen Choudhury, the IFC’s communications officer for South Asia.

The government may increase the size of the bond to $1.0 billion depending on initial interest.

The proceeds of the taka bond will be lent to clients in Bangladesh.

In 2015, the IFC requested approval of loans to Pran Agro and Natore Agro, both part of the Pran Group, and the government gave the nod in April this year with 9.75 per cent all-in rate cap.

Each loan has a total size of Tk 800 million with equal repayments in three and five years.

The bond will be listed as the “Bangla Bond”, the Bangladesh High Commission in London said in a statement.

"The Ring The Bell" ceremony of the listing of bond will be followed by a roundtable of investors to showcase Bangladesh's growth story and investment opportunities, the high commission said.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Private Sector Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem will attend the enlistment ceremony and the roundtable.

Salman will brief the media about the bond later. IFC Vice-President for Asia and Pacific Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Treasury Client Solutions Director Keshav Gaur, and IFC South Asia Director Mengistu Alemayehu will also be present, bdnews24.com reports.

The high commission will also host a "Bangladesh Investment Dialogue" at the Taz Hotel in the afternoon on the occasion of the enlistment of the bond.

Bangladesh had previously made dollar bonds available to expatriates, but the government cleared the IFC’s proposal to float the bond in 2015 from many other similar proposals as the then finance minister AMA Muhith said the IFC offer seemed “very positive”.

“Foreign banks offer zero interest on deposits. But there will be 4-5 per cent interest on taka bonds. Our expatriates will benefit if they invest their money in bonds instead of depositing that in banks,” he had said.

By then, the IFC had already issued local currency bonds in India worth $10 billion.

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