Sri Lanka sovereign bond gets seven bids for lead manager slot

Sept 04, 2009 (LBO) – Seven investment banks have submitted proposals to sell a 500 million US dollar sovereign bond for Sri Lanka in October, the government’s debt office said. The debt office which is a unit of the Central Bank said a committee made up of finance ministry and central; bank officials was now evaluating proposals to appoint one or more lead managers and book runners to the deal.

Detailed presentations by individual bidders are expected to be made next week.

The debt office said deal managers will be selected by “mid September”.

In 2007, JP Morgan and HSBC were appointed lead managers to a 500 million US dollars sovereign bond. Barclays and Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon were also involved in the deal.

JP Morgan and HSBC recently ran arranged an international road show which drew more than a billion US dollars to Sri Lanka rupee denominated government securities market.

In 2007, Merrill Lynch, Citi, UBS Warburg, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered also bid.

This year Citi, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered are locked in arbitration over disputed derivative deals with a state run oil distributor.

Others, including ABN Amro (now Royal Bank of Scotland) also expressed interest initial interest for the 2007 bond and met government officials.

Analysts say investment banks like Royal Bank of Scotland and Merrill Lynch were also interested in bidding this year in addition to JP Morgan and HSBC.