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Supranationals: IFFIm: a supra new borrower?

Highly unusual and interesting vehicle, but its precise status remains ambiguous.

Doris Herrera-Pol, World Bank

“The impression we got from our visits was that investors would welcome another name – given that there are not that many supranationals and the supply of bonds from many of us has declined”
Doris Herrera-Pol, World Bank

It has taken more than a year for the first deal from the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm) to appear since it was unveiled a year ago. Normal questions concerning pricing and placement will of course need answering. And the leads, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, indicate that they will raise between $500 million and $1billion for the inaugural deal. It’s a modest amount but, given that IFFIm only requires $4 billion over the next four years, it doesn’t really need volume right now. What is really interesting about IFFIm is that it is the first serious collective attempt for many years to make an impact on Third World poverty via the capital markets.

It also makes an important argument for project targeted aid. The argument is that taxpayers will be more comfortable contributing aid in this form than through traditional government operations that result in aid assistance being expressed as a percentage of GDP.

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