Citi achieved yet another milestone on 27 October by partnering with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government to complete a $ 1.5 billion, 10-year international sovereign bond issuance.
The transaction, which was priced at a yield of 6.85% per annum, marks the second 10-year sovereign bond issue in the international capital markets in 2015. The final order books stood at $ 3.3 billion, an oversubscription of 2.2 times across 290 accounts, about 117 more investors than the previous 10-year US dollar offering in April this year. Distribution was very well diversified, with the US taking 55%, Europe 29% and Asia at 16%. By investor type, fund managers were the largest investors in the transaction, representing 88%, banks 5%, private banks 4%, and pension/insurance agencies 3%.
The bonds have been rated ‘BB-’, ‘B1’ and ‘B+’ by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s respectively. This marks the republic’s ninth US dollar benchmark offering in the international bond markets since 2007.
Citi Country Officer for Sri Lanka Ravin Basnayake said: “Citi is honoured to have once again partnered with the Government of Sri Lanka in this successful transaction. The overwhelming investor interest shown during the issue process despite global capital market volatility reflected strong and continued investor confidence in Sri Lanka. Citi is extremely pleased that we could utilise Citi’s global capabilities, dominant market position and the global network to make this transaction a success.”
This landmark transaction represents the country’s largest bond offering and is Citi’s fifth issuance for the Sri Lankan Government since 2012. Citi advised on the sovereign ratings, and acted as Joint Lead Manager and Joint Bookrunner on this landmark issuance.
Citi’s Fixed Income and Commodities Head, Saneth Gamage, commenting on the deal, said: “Citi is one of the most active participants in the Global Debt Capital Market and is extremely proud and honoured to be associated with the Government of Sri Lanka’s significant achievement. This is a testament to the continued interest we have received from global investors for high-quality bond issuances out of Sri Lanka.”