Global Markets

AfDB launches $2 billion 4.125% 3year Social Global Benchmark due 25 February 2027

The African Development Bank (, which holds the highest credit ratings of Aaa/AAA/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch/Japan Credit Rating, all stable), has successfully launched and priced a USD 2 billion 3-year Social Global Benchmark due on 25 February 2027. This bond marks the Bank’s first social bond issuance under its newly established Sustainable Bond Framework, which was introduced in September 2023. The Sustainable Bond Program effectively combines and strengthens the Bank’s existing Green and Social Bond programs, enabling the issuance of green bonds, social bonds, and sustainability bonds (

This particular 3-year Social Benchmark serves as the Bank’s inaugural global benchmark for the year, strategically aligning with the active reopening of primary markets in January 2024. Amidst a dynamic week in the USD SSA markets, where 8 benchmarks totaling USD 17.25 billion were launched within a span of two days, this issuance stands out as a significant achievement.

By executing this transaction, the African Development Bank continues to implement its funding strategy of issuing substantial and highly liquid benchmark transactions. Furthermore, it adds another reference point in the 3-year maturity category. The Bank has successfully secured the most competitive pricing compared to other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in terms of both swaps and US Treasuries.

The global investor community showed strong support for the issuance, resulting in an order book of over USD 3.5 billion. The book attracted high-quality investors, including central banks, official institutions, and bank treasuries, which accounted for 78% of the book. The distribution of the book was well diversified across different geographies and investor profiles, with a total of 76 orders. Additionally, the social label of the issuance garnered interest from ESG investors, representing 38% of the participants in the book.

The AfDB announced its mandate for a 3-year USD Global Benchmark on Wednesday, January 17th, at 15:00 London time. This decision was made to take advantage of favorable market conditions and a strong primary market backdrop. Initial Pricing Thoughts (IPTs) were released at SOFR mid-swaps plus 33 basis points. The deal received good investor demand during the overnight session, with Indications of Interest (IoIs) reaching USD 2.1 billion by the time books officially opened on Thursday, January 18th, at 08:00 London time.

Throughout the European morning, the order book continued to grow, with investor demand reaching USD 3.6 billion by 10:50 London time. This allowed for a tightening of the spread by 2 basis points, setting it at SOFR mid-swaps plus 31 basis points. The books closed at 13:00 London time, and due to the high quality of the order book, which exceeded USD 3.5 billion, the transaction was launched with a size of USD 2 billion. The trade was officially priced at 15:18 London time, with a reoffer yield of 4.221%, equivalent to a spread of 10.3 basis points vs UST 4% Jan-27. This marked the tightest print vs UST in the USD SSA primary market so far this year.

The final order book closed at over USD 3.5 billion, with more than 70 orders received. Transaction details:

African Development Bank (“AfDB”)
Issuer Rating:
Aaa / AAA / AAA / AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch/Japan Credit Rating, all stable)
USD 2 billion
Pricing Date:
18 January 2024
Settlement Date:
25 January 2024
Maturity Date:
25 February 2027
4.125%, Semi-Annual 30/360
Re-offer price:
99. 721%
Re-offer yield:

Re-offer spread:

SOFR Mid-Swaps + 31bps / UST 4% 15-Jan-27 + 10.3bps
Lead Managers:
BNP Paribas, BofA Securities, Credit Agricole CIB, J.P. Morgan, Nomura
Co-Lead Manager:
CastleOak Securities

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