The Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC) US$ 500 million international bond issue was heavily over-subscribed on Thursday demonstrating investor confidence and broadened access to international capital, the Bank’s Chairman, Dr. Gamini Wickremasinghe said.
Senior officials said that the five-year bond closed at an interest rate of 6.875%, more or less within the range anticipated by the issuer.
Joint lead managers and book runners for the issue to be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange were HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, said the Bank of Ceylon.
Analysts regard this bond issue to be a landmark in the history of the Bank of Ceylon, long established as the country’s leading commercial bank, as well as for Sri Lanka’s banking industry, the Bank further said.
"The over-subscription level of 7.7 times with a total order value of US$ 3.86 billion reflects global investor confidence in BOC as well as in Sri Lanka as an emerging market," senior bank officials said.
They indicated that the investment have come from global hedge funds with a wide spread in Asia, Europe and the USA.
Analysts said that the bond. Rated B- with a stable outlook by Moody and BB- with a stable outlook by Fitch in line with the country’s sovereign rating, will further diversify BOC’s fund base.