Asian Development Bank issues first Pakistan rupee-linked bonds

This file photo shows the logo of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) displayed outside its headquarters in Manila on Sept. 2, 2010. (AFP/File)
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Updated 18 November 2020

Asian Development Bank issues first Pakistan rupee-linked bonds

  • Karakoram bond is an offshore bond denominated in Pakistan rupees and settled in US dollars
  • Pakistani PM's special adviser on finance terms the issuance as 'excellent initiative'

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised Rs1.83 billion ($11.4 million) in a first issue of local currency “karakoram” bonds. 

A karakoram bond is an offshore bond denominated in Pakistan rupees and settled in US dollars. Before the karakoram bond issuance, the multilateral development bank of which Pakistan is a member had no local currency loans in the country.

The bonds were arranged by Citigroup Global Markets and sold to European asset managers and the international bond issue pays a 7.50 percent semi-annual coupon and matures in August 2023.

“It is anticipated that ADB’s local currency loans will be a boost to private sector development in Pakistan,” ADB said in a statement.

“The Pakistan rupee-linked karakoram bond floated by ADB is an excellent initiative. I am confident it will have significant mutually beneficial outcomes for Pakistan and ADB," Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the Pakistani prime minister's special adviser on finance, said as quoted in the ADB statement.  

State Bank of Pakistan governor Reza Baqir congratulated the ADB team and affirmed his appreciation of the lender's support for Pakistan’s financial and economic development. 

“ADB’s inaugural issue of Pakistan rupee-linked karakoram bonds will help deepen the capital markets of Pakistan while channeling funding to vital economic sectors,” he said.


Pakistan says ‘entitled’ to 20 million CanSino doses if vaccine effective

Updated 20 min 6 sec ago

Pakistan says ‘entitled’ to 20 million CanSino doses if vaccine effective

  • Health chief says Pakistan’s first Phase 3 clinical trial for CanSino’s candidate, Ad5-nCoV, was nearly complete 
  • Says more than a million doses of China’s Sinopharm’s vaccin expected in March. 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s de facto health chief said this week a Phase 3 clinical trial for a potential vaccine being developed by China’s CanSino Biologics was nearly complete and Pakistan would get 20 million doses if the vaccine turned out to be “effective.”
Pakistan’s clinical trial for CanSino’s candidate, Ad5-nCoV, led by the government-run National Institute of Health (NIH) along with pharmaceutical company AJM — the local representative of CanSino — started in September.

FILE PHOTO: Vials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, a recombinant adenovirus vaccine named Ad5-nCoV, co-developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics Inc and a team led by Chinese military infectious disease expert, are pictured in Wuhan, Hubei province, China March 24, 2020. (Reuters/File)

Dr. Faisal Sultan, the health adviser, told reporters on Wednesday the trials, in which 17,500 people had participated, were “near completion.” Pakistan has a population of over 220 million people.
“Their results will come soon,” he told a press conference. “The statistical analysis of the [CanSino] vaccine has started and we expect results at the beginning of February. Pakistan is entitled to 20 million doses on the condition that the vaccine is effective.”
Earlier this month, Sultan said Pakistan was speaking to a number of vaccine makers, and the country could get “in the range of tens of millions” of vaccine doses under an agreement with CanSinoBio.
Earlier this month, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use in Pakistan, making it the first coronavirus vaccine to get the green light for use in the South Asian country.
Sultan also said more than a million doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine from China were expected in in March.