Business

IFC issues first LKR-denominated bond 

 

  • $ 5 m equivalent Serendib Bond issued for Sunshine Consumer
  • Paves way for local currency offshore funding: IFC

 

In a major step towards supporting the private sector in Sri Lanka amidst a significant economic downturn, IFC issued its first-ever rupee-denominated bond in the country. 

The bond – called the “Serendib Bond” – is a significant milestone towards ensuring that the private-sector has access to long-term offshore financing in local currency, while hedging foreign exchange risks, at a critical time, IFC noted in a statement yesterday (13). 

The involvement of triple A-rated issuers, such as IFC, in introducing the Sri Lankan rupee to international capital markets will help create a benchmark for future rupee issuance, and provide offshore investors the ability to gain exposure to the currency.
“IFC’s first rupee-denominated bond in Sri Lanka comes at a critical time – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic – and will be significant in contributing to support the development of a more resilient, efficient, and inclusive financial sector,” said IFC Regional Director for South Asia Hector Gomez Ang. “With this landmark transaction, we aim to encourage the private sector to invest in the future of the country, paving the way for job creation and inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Proceeds from IFC’s $ 5 million equivalent bond will finance Sunshine Consumer Lanka Ltd., a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC. The investment will support the domestic confectionary supply chain and help strengthen the overall competitiveness of the country’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

“IFC’s partnership will allow us to grow further through diversification of our businesses and expand our presence in the consumer goods sector,” said Sunshine Holdings PLC Group Managing Director Vish Govindasamy. “We are also happy to be a part of IFC’s first Serendib Bond which protects our business from exchange rate volatility as well as any increase in interest rates, while giving us access to foreign credit markets to grow the business.”
This project is a classic example of IFC’s strategy of developing the bond market and making international financing available.

In November 2019, IFC issued the first-ever inaugural Taka Bangla Bond in the London Stock Exchange, raising the international profile of the Bangladeshi currency – taka.

IFC has been an important issuer of capital market instruments in local currencies, an issuer of green and other labelled bonds, and has supported clients in accessing the capital markets as an anchor investor in new issuances that help bridge the financing gap in emerging markets. 

IFC has issued bonds in about 80 local emerging market currencies – from Armenian dram to Uzbek som and Zambian kwacha.