BOAD explores ways of raising US$500 million in foreign capital markets during the last quarter of 2015
Lomé, 23 July 2015. Mr. Christian Adovelande, President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), held a press conference at the headquarters in Lomé. This press conference was attended by about thirty journalists from public and private media operating in the member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU, and international media as well.
Discussions were centered on the Bank’s ambitions for the upcoming years as stated in its 2015-2019 strategic plan. These were addressed in relation to two recent events: assignment of an investment grade rating to BOAD and its accreditation as a regional implementing entity to the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
With regard to the rating, the international rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch have each rated BOAD –respectively on 15 May and 11 June 2015– in the category referred to as “investment grade” ratings. Both agencies based their positive rating on BOAD‘s financial performance and its shareholders’ support, as well as the quality and stability of its corporate governance system.
As to accreditation to the GEF, it has been completed during the 48th Board meeting of the Fund held from 2-4 June 2015 in Washington. It therefore strengthens BOAD in its will to assist member countries in their efforts to promote environmental projects and programmes. The GEF grants financial support to developing or transitional countries so that they can implement projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants.
“With increased international credibility, BOAD has nowadays the possibility to scale up” President Christian Adovelande said, adding that international credit rating and accreditation to the GEF should be considered as part of the implementation of BOAD’s 2015-2019 strategic plan”. Drawing extensively on member countries’ determination for economic emergence, this plan has outlined 4 key areas:
- Accelerating regional integration through sustained infrastructure financing by allocating 50% of BOAD loans to regional projects;
- Support for inclusive growth, food security and sustainable development;
- Support for businesses and States, development of financial engineering and services, with special focus on promoting public-private partnership projects;
- Deepening the resource mobilization process.
Priority to resource mobilization
With respect to this latter issue, the regional capital market will remain a source of refinancing for BOAD. Indeed, the institution has played a pioneering role by floating in 1993 the first bond loan in the market. With XOF913 billions of funds raised so far, BOAD positions itself as the first non-sovereign issuer in the WAEMU region. But international capital markets will become the major source of borrowing for BOAD. In this connection, President Christian Adovelande announced that BOAD is seeking ways and means of raising US$500 million in these markets during the last quarter of 2015.
Moreover, BOAD has approached the authorities of the WAEMU region for the establishment of innovative mechanisms that could facilitate mobilization of domestic concessionary resources. These would enable it to better support development projects in its member countries, mainly in the infrastructure and food security areas.
In short, resource mobilization in adequate quality and quantity will be a top priority for BOAD, if it wants to achieve in concrete terms the vision buttressing its 2015-2019 strategic plan, that is becoming in future “a solid development bank for economic integration and transformation in West Africa”. Access to international investment grade rating and accreditation as a GEF regional implementing entity will greatly contribute to that.
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