The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Moody’s Investors Service on July 14 concluded a first investor seminar as part a broader effort to help East African countries finance large infrastructure projects and build their economies. Yesterday’s event highlighted opportunities in local debt markets for institutional investors.
The IFC and Moody’s seminar in Nairobi provided an opportunity for institutional investors to discuss and learn about links between sovereign and sub-national debt issuers, sovereign rating methodology for ratings assigned to government issuers, and infrastructure as an asset class for institutional investors. The seminar was the first in a series of events that will focus on new types of instruments and new types of issuers in the bond market in East Africa, according to IFC.
Manuel Moses, IFC Country Manager, Kenya, said, “Sustained economic growth in East Africa requires new infrastructure and socio-economic progress. IFC’s strategy to improve access to financing through debt capital markets can help meet the region’s infrastructure requirements and improve the delivery of social services.”
Sylvia Chahonyo, General Manager, Moody’s Investors Service, South Africa, said, “East Africa has shown strong resilience at a time of global challenges and offers great potential in the coming years. Investment in infrastructure will continue to be a crucial part of the region’s growth story and we hope this seminar will help shape the ongoing debate around this topic in the region.”
Debt capital markets provide opportunities for long-term, local-currency financing to sub-national entities and utilities. They also provide opportunities for institutional investors to fund infrastructure and social services projects. The seminar provided an interactive forum for investors to discuss and learn about the impact and contribution of credit ratings in local capital markets and investment decisions.
The seminar was organized by the Efficient Securities Market Institutional Development program in Africa, a partnership between the World Bank Group and SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The ESMID program supports the development of well-functioning securities markets in order to improve financing for key sectors like housing, infrastructure, and microfinance.
Since the start of the program in 2007, $1.6 billion has been raised through corporate bonds in East Africa.