Sri Lanka defies sceptics with benchmark bond

A total of 136 investors buy into the debut bond despite political opposition to the deal in Sri Lanka.

Late Wednesday last week Sri Lanka finally issued its maiden sovereign bond B, BB-, succeeding in raising $500 million through a five-year 144A, Reg-S bond at a yield of 8.25%, or the equivalent of 397.5bp over five-year Treasuries. The deal was arranged by Barclays, HSBC and JPMorgan and co-managed by the Bank of Ceylon.

Executing the bond was no easy task. The main political opposition party in Sri Lanka, the United National Party UNP, held...

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