Abu Dhabi: A Maldives government bond was officially listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) on Thursday, the first sovereign bond to be listed on the exchange.
The $100 million (Dh367 million) bond was issued to the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. First Abu Dhabi Bank was the book runner.
“This is a bond that has been listed on ADX with the support of the Abu Dhabi government as well as the support of Maldives exchange. It has a big added value to us in a way that, we as a market have a vision for diversification of the financial instrument and having such a product will enable us to further diversify,” said Rashed Al Balooshi, CEO of ADX speaking to reporters after the listing ceremony.
“This is going to be one of the milestones that would attract more (of our) debt market to be developed.”
When asked if the bond would be traded actively, he said usually bonds are not traded and they are displayed on the board with financial numbers.
“When it comes to trading, we do expect that but normally it happens in OTC (over the counter) market and if you would look into the debt market, they don’t trade.”
Al Balooshi expects one more listing of a corporate bond in 2018 but did not provide details.
The latest listing could lead to more sovereign bonds being listed on Abu Dhabi bourse, he added.
“As a platform, as an infrastructure, as a procedure and as the legal framework, they are all comprehensive and they are all available. We just need to see players putting their products in our market and this would encourage others to come.”
The Maldives government bond was the third bond to be listed on ADX. The other two bonds are from the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (now First Abu Dhabi Bank) and Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (Adnic).
Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Fund For Development (ADFD) told Gulf News on the sidelines that this was the first time that they participated in a privately issued bond.
“This is a new tool that we are adding to the windows of financing we have, which will be evaluated after six months and hopefully you will see more of these bonds in future,” he said adding that they have a good cooperation with the Maldives government and have financed projects worth over Dh500 million mainly in infrastructure.
“We tried to focus on infrastructure which we believe will contribute to the local economy and hope that the government of the beneficiary country will achieve sustainable economic development. We are also studying other projects to be taken up in the Maldives in future.”
Affiliated with Abu Dhabi government, ADFD aims to help developing countries to achieve sustainable socio-economic growth through financial assistance in the form of concessionary loans, managing government grants and equities.
It also pursues investments in order to encourage the private sector in the recipient countries to play an essential part in accelerating the economic development process.
Hussain Niyaz, ambassador of Maldives to the UAE told Gulf News that the listing could lead to a long-term relationship between the Maldives and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
“We see that this is a sign of a confidence in the Maldives economic sector and it greatly benefits our economy,” said Niyaz.
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