June 20, 2018

First-ever international Uzbek Soum-denominated bonds listed in London

  • IFC issues two-year 80 billion Uzbek Soum bonds ($20 million equivalent) on London Stock Exchange
  • The two Samarkand bonds are a global first for Uzbekistan and for IFC
  • Proceeds will expand lending for micro, small and medium-sized companies in Uzbekistan
  • Listing underlines London Stock Exchange’s status as an international centre for debt finance and innovation

London Stock Exchange today welcomes the listing of the world’s first ever international Uzbek Soum- denominated bonds to its Main Market. The landmark bond issuance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, paves the way for the opening of the global Samarkand bond market to support financing of companies from Uzbekistan while raising the profile of the Uzbek Soum internationally.

The two-year dated Samarkand bonds raised UZS 160 billion (USD 20 million equivalent) and secured strong global investor support. The proceeds of the bonds will be used to expand lending for micro, small and medium-sized companies in Uzbekistan. Through JSCB Hamkorbank, the country’s leading private bank, long-term local currency financing will be boosted, enabling businesses to grow and avoid foreign currency borrowing-related risks.

Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange Plc:

“We congratulate IFC and the Government of Uzbekistan on these milestone transactions. London Stock Exchange is proud to be the partner of choice for this landmark event, celebrating the first internationally listed Uzbek Soum bonds. As a world first, the successful issuance of IFC’s inaugural Uzbek Soum bonds highlights London Stock Exchange’s ability to finance global growth without issuer foreign exchange currency risk.

“We are committed to establishing London as the international centre for local currency offshore capital raising. We look forward to building this market together with our partners such as IFC, allowing issuers to access the deepest pool of internationally-oriented capital through London Stock Exchange.”

Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer:

“This historic Uzbekistan Soum bond issued by triple A-rated IFC is an important capital markets innovation. The Samarkand will help provide local currency solutions for Hamkorbank that will benefit its small and medium-sized business customers. Going forward we see this pioneering issuance having a positive flow-on effect, connecting international investor demand for Soum bonds with a wide range of financing needs in Uzbekistan.”

Ikram Ibragimov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hamkorbank:

“IFC is a long-term dependable and strategic partner of JSCB Hamkorbank. Ever since the Central Bank successfully initiated the process of liberalization of foreign currency in Uzbekistan, JSCB Hamkorbank

and IFC developed a plan aimed at diversifying the sources and methods of financing in local currency.

“As a result we achieved joint success and plan to further explore various means of implementing the latest local currency and hedging solutions in Uzbekistan.”

Mr Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Investments of Uzbekistan:

"We saw broad global investor interest in IFC’s inaugural Uzbek Soum bond. The watershed issuance will help raise the profile of the currency in international debt capital markets.”

John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister:

“The UK is the world’s pre-eminent financial centre, and it’s a testament to our global reputation that the International Finance Corporation has chosen London to list its first Uzbek Sum-denominated bonds. I hope the success of this transaction sets the scene for further cooperation with Uzbekistan in the future.”

IFC’s Uzbek Soum bond listings are the latest in a long line of global first and innovative bond issuances on London Stock Exchange.

  • April 2018 – Fiji’s first international sovereign green bond lists on London Stock Exchange
  • December 2017 - Jasa Marga lists world’s first Komodo bond on London Stock Exchange’s International Securities Market, raising IDR 4 trillion (USD 295.7 million equivalent)
  • September 2017 – IREDA lists first Masala bond on London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market
  • May 2017 – NTPC lists the first bond on London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market
  • September 2016 - British Columbia issues world’s first Masala bond by a foreign government entity
  • August 2016 – NTPC lists world’s first Indian green Masala bond and first Masala bond by a quasi-sovereign issuer
  • July 2016 – HDFC lists world’s first Masala bond by an Indian corporate
  • June 2016 - first Chinese sovereign RMB bond issued outside of China
  • April 2016 – Hungary becomes first Sovereign from continental Europe to issue a RMB bond
  • August 2015 - International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, issues world’s first green Masala bond, raising $49 million equivalent
  • November 2014 – IFC lists first Masala bond, going on to issue a further three Masala bonds in London over two years

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