Missing: a Bangladesh sovereign bond

Government officials continue to dither on leading Bangladesh into global capital markets but the pressure to do so will only increase.

Bangladesh has a good story to tell foreign investors, but the lack of a sovereign bond is preventing the country from putting itself on the map.

Its capital markets are open to both inflows and outflows. There are no restrictions on repatriating capital or dividends. The taka is stable, government debt is low, its global credit ratings are stable, and the local-currency bond market offers attractive yields 7.2% for the government two-year bond and 8.4% for the 10-year.

But these markets are also small. The bond market is only $18 billion, or about 10% of the country’s GDP, and there is virtually no secondary market. The...

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