African Domestic Bond Fund
Featured image: Stock

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Mauritius Commercial Bank Group (MCB) have launched the African Domestic Bond Fund (ADBF) ahead of its listing on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius on 18 September 2018.

“We are delighted to partner with the African Development Bank in launching this pioneering fund. This attests to the Bank and MCB’s commitment to help develop the local currency fixed income markets on the continent and to the quality of our investment management capabilities,” Pierre-Guy Noel, chief executive officer of MCB Group, said at the launch ceremony.

“The fund listing on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius brings to investors the opportunity to access African government bonds conveniently,” he added.

The AfDB highlighted that this is the first multi-jurisdictional fixed income Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on the continent.

The ADBF arose out of the bank’s African Financial Markets Initiative (AFMI), which aims to strengthen African economies by reducing their dependency on foreign currency denominated debt, increasing the range of available financing options, and acting as a catalyst for regional market integration.

The Bank is acting as an anchor investor of ADBF, to which it has committed $25 million.

ADBF will track the performance of the AfDB/AFMI Bloomberg African Bond Index 25% Capped, an index that comprises African local currency sovereign bonds of eight African markets, namely: Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Zambia.

Sovereign bonds

It is intended that sovereign bonds of other countries will be included in the index over time. Read more: Global green bond partnership to accelerate issuance of bonds

MCB Investment Management (MCBIM), a subsidiary of MCB Capital Markets, has been appointed as Fund Manager for the ADBF.

MCBIM pioneered investing in the pan African fixed income asset class in 2014, when it launched the MCB Africa Bond Fund, an actively managed mutual fund focused on African fixed income.

According to the AfDB, this fund has consistently outperformed its benchmark.

“The African Development Bank is pleased to launch the African Domestic Bond Fund as we have designed and structured this product and are acting as an anchor investor. This shows our commitment to support the development of and investment in long-term financial instruments issued in our local financial markets,” said Bank director for financial sector development, Stefan Nalletamby.