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IFC Issues First Ever Offshore Khmer Riel (“KHR”) Bond

Washington, D.C., May 10, 2019 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has issued the inaugural Offshore Khmer Riel (“KHR”) bond, supporting the creation of capital markets for Cambodia, and the expansion of local currency lending to micro and small businesses, including farmers and women entrepreneurs.
The $12 million (KHR 48.6 billion) proceeds of the bond will be used to replace a portion of the local currency funding for the first KHR bond issued in the country by Cambodian microfinance institution Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), in which IFC invested in late 2018. The Offshore KHR Bond enables international investors to take Khmer Riel risk and will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. With this latest transaction, IFC has helped build capital markets both onshore and offshore for Cambodia: issuing the first offshore KHR bond to fund its purchase of the first local currency bond in the country and sending a strong signal of confidence in the Cambodian economy.
The Offshore bond issuance enabled IFC to provide medium-term KHR funding to allow HKL to provide affordable loans to rural borrowers. This will not only expand local currency access for farmers and small business owners, it also sends a confident signal to help Cambodia develop local currency funding over the long-term.  
IFC’s initial investment in the bond was originally supported by the International Development Association (“IDA”) under the IDA’s Private Sector Window Local Currency Facility in November 2018.
IFC Vice President and Treasurer John Gandolfo said: “IFC is proud to develop capital markets-based solutions for providing Khmer Riel financing. This is a milestone transaction, bringing together a client’s need for local currency funding and IFC’s access to tap investor demand for KHR assets.  This transaction demonstrates IFC’s ability to develop debt capital markets financing alternatives as market conditions evolve.”
Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam said: “The issuance of IFC’s Offshore KHR bond underscores our commitment to support Cambodia in achieving sustainable economic growth. The bond allows us to mobilize international local currency funding into the country’s projects and we intend to replicate and scale up this model to address some of the country’s main socio-economic challenges.”
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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