The African Development Bank (AfDB) has issued a US$1bn global bond in the international capital markets. The transaction which was a five-year bond maturing on August 1, 2008, was lead managed by Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Lehman Brothers.

This offering is the AfDB’s largest public bond issue in the international capital markets and builds on the success of the last year’s US$500mn global bond which had marked the return of the AfDB to the global capital markets. The AfDB had then announced its intention to access the public markets more regularly and establish a formal benchmark program.

The bank is pleased with the success of the issue and the quality of the investors who have participated in the offering. The broad investor participation across continents reflects the increasing investor comfort with our credit in our peer group and the success of our investor relations program that we have diligently undertaken over the past two years.

The issue was launched following extensive investor meetings and the size and timing is based on feedback received while ensuring that the AfDB’s funding targets are met. The US$1bn size ensures liquidity, and consequent participation by key investors, while the timing reflects current investor focus on diversifying their portfolios with rare high quality credits. The transaction has enhanced investor appreciation of the bank’s strong credit story, thereby enabling the bank to remain the most cost-efficient provider of resources into Africa.

The African Development Bank is the premier development finance institution in Africa dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people in the continent and engaged in the task of mobilising resources toward the economic and social progress of its regional member countries. Its shareholders include the 53 countries in Africa and 24 non-African countries (including the G7 countries) from the Americas, Asia and Europe.

As part of its mission, the bank is at the forefront of various continent wide initiatives including the African Union, the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC), Nepad and recently the Water Facility. Under the leadership of Omar Kabbaj who became president in August 1995, the bank has undertaken major institutional and financial reforms, including a general capital increase, to strengthen its risk bearing capacity and effectively deliver on its mission of poverty alleviation and promoting economic growth in the continent.

Following Standard & Poor’s announcement upgrading the AfDB’s senior unsecured debt rating to AAA, the bank is now rated Aaa /AAA / AAA/AAA by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Japan Credit Rating, respectively.