The world’s first ever international Uzbek Soum- denominated bonds were today listed in the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. 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.”
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.”