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* Sri Lanka launches US$ 500 million sovereign bond issue at 5.125%
Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 08:51 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 08, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government Monday has launched a US$ 500 million International Sovereign Bond issue at a yield of 5.125 percent per year, the Central Bank said today.

The issue represents the balance of the US$ 1,500 million International Sovereign Bond programme approved for 2014 and carries the lowest among all the US Dollar benchmark offering by Sri Lanka in the international bond markets.

Citigroup, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Standard Chartered Bank acted as Joint Lead Managers/Book runners on the transaction.

Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Standard and Poors have rated the Issue at 'BB-', B1 and B+' respectively.

Following the heavy interest from investors across Asia, Middle-East, Europe and the USA, Sri Lanka priced the Issue at a yield of 5.125 percent after initially placing it at 5.50 percent per year.

This tighter yield reflects the continued confidence that the international investors have placed in the sovereign bond issuance of Sri Lanka, the Central Bank said.

The issue has been oversubscribed 8.3 times to US$ 4.25 billion within six hours from 287 accounts with well-diversified invstors, according to the Central Bank.

Asian investors subscribed 32 percent, Europe 22 percent and the US at 46 percent. Global Fund Managers were the largest investors, representing 81 percent, with Banks, Private Banks and insurance agencies taking 13 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Sri Lanka's previous five-year Issuances in 2007, 2009 and January 2014 were priced at yields of 8.25 percent, 7.40 percent and 6.00 percent respectively.

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