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World Bank raises A$110M via blockchain-based bond transaction

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has officially announced the details of the blockchain-based bond transaction last week.

Earlier this month, the World Bank announced that it has mandated CBA as the sole arranger of the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its lifecycle using distributed ledger technology (DLT). The bond-i blockchain platform was built and developed by the CBA Blockchain Centre of Excellence.

“Since announcing the mandate, the interest we’ve received for bond-i has been overwhelming. It is clear the market is ready and open to the uptake of emerging technologies and sees the potential evolution of the capital markets,” James Wall, Executive General Manager of IB&M International, CBA.

In a press release dated August 24, CBA said that it helped the World Bank launch bond-i, adding that the two-year bond has raised A$110 million. The bond-i transaction, to be settled on August 28, 2018, and mature on August 28, 2020, has been priced to yield 2.251 percent semi-annual.

Investors include CBA, First State Super, NSW Treasury Corporation, Northern Trust, QBE, SAFA, and Treasury Corporation of Victoria. It marks the first time that investors have supported the World Bank’s development activities in an end-to-end blockchain-powered transaction.

“I am delighted that this pioneer bond transaction using the distributed ledger technology, bond-i, was extremely well received by investors. We are particularly impressed with the breath of interest from official institutions, fund managers, government institutions, and banks,” Arunma Oteh, World Bank Treasurer, said. “We were no doubt successful in moving from concept to reality because these high-quality investors understood the value of leveraging technology for innovation in capital markets.”

Service providers to the bond’s platform include TD Securities as market maker, IHS Markit as independent valuation provider, Microsoft as independent code reviewer, and King & Wood Mallesons as deal counsel.

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