ADB issues inaugural Armenian dram linked bonds

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised AMD2.66 billion (about $5.4 million) from a new issue of offshore Armenian dram-linked bonds. The transaction was structured as a 5-year fixed rate bond maturing in April 2023.

The transaction represents ADB’s first fund raising in Armenian dram and marks another landmark in ADB’s strategy of delivering local currency funding in developing countries.

“Currency risk is always a challenge for borrowers in developing countries,” said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. “This inaugural bond issue in Armenian dram will allow ADB to offer local currency loans in Armenia, while attracting foreign investment and supporting the development of the Armenian capital markets.”

The bonds, which are denominated in Armenian dram but settled in US dollars, were underwritten by HSBC Bank plc as sole lead manager. The new issue bears a semi-annual coupon of 7.2392%. The bonds were fully placed with investors in Europe.

Proceeds from the bonds will be mobilized to support ADB local currency lending in Armenia. In 2017, ADB committed $40 million in sovereign loans and $86 million in nonsovereign assistance in Armenia.

ADB is a regular borrower in mainstream international bond markets but has also led issuance in developing Asian countries as part of efforts to promote domestic bond markets as an alternative to bank lending. Overall, ADB raised more than $27 billion from the capital markets in 2017.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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