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* Sri Lanka's US$ 1 billion international sovereign bond oversubscribed 3.2 times
Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 10:59 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka's 5-year US$ 1 billion international sovereign bond issued Monday to the international market was oversubscribed 3.2 times within 18 hours, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) said today.

Accordingly, the first international bond issue in Asia with a 6.00 percent rate received US$ 3.2 billion from 200 accounts with the US investors taking 62 percent, European investors 26 percent and Asian 12 percent.

Global fund managers were the largest investors in the transaction, representing 89 per cent, with banks and private banks taking 8 percent and 3 percent respectively, the CBSL said.

The Issue represents the sixth US Dollar benchmark offering in the international bond markets by Sri Lanka since 2007.

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

The Issue was announced during the Asia morning on January 6, 2014 with an initial price guidance of 6.25 percent per year but with investors rushing to buy Sri Lanka was able to price the Issue at a yield of 6.00 percent in spite of the rising benchmark US Treasury yield.

"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.

According to Central Bank, driven by the support from m existing and new investors, Sri Lanka succeeded in achieving a five-year cost of funds which is progressively lower compared to the previous Issuances.

Sri Lanka's previous five-year Issuances in 2007 and 2009 were priced at yields of 8.25 per cent and 7.40 per cent respectively.

"This achievement is all the more impressive, given the rising bench mark US Treasury yield and also the high volatility seen in global capital markets in recent months," the Bank said.

Citigroup, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS acted as Joint Lead Managers/Bookrunners on the transaction.

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