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Supranationals: World Bank freshens benchmark programme

George Richardson, principal financial officer at the World Bank

"With the convergence of costs in yen, euros, sterling and others, we are faced with many more choices for benchmark"
George Richardson

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) has issued its first euro-denominated global benchmark bond in a move that signals the borrower’s objective of increasing its profile. Its annual dollar benchmark operation had grown a bit stale. "We went on a non-deal roadshow throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe," explains Doris Herrera-Pol, head of capital markets operations in the World Bank treasury. "We heard from investors that they were really interested in this issue."

The World Bank has previously issued global benchmark bonds in US dollars, Australian dollars, Mexican pesos and Turkish lira. The bank is reticent about any future issues, especially disclosing currencies. "In the past, dollar issues were, by many basis points, the best in terms of cost," says George Richardson, principal financial officer at the World Bank. "Now, with the convergence of costs in yen, euros, sterling and others, we are faced with many more choices for benchmarks."

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