June 9 (Bloomberg) -- The African Development Bank said it has raised about $1.9 billion in bond sales since January and expects to tap the market again before year-end.
“We are willing to issue in any currency in which there is investor demand as long as we can convert into our currencies of disbursement,” Pierre van Peteghem, the AfDB’s treasurer, said in an interview today in Lisbon, where the lender is holding its annual general meeting. The timing of the next bond sale has yet to be determined, he said.
The Tunis-based lender was authorized by its board to borrow $5.5 billion last year and only raised $2.8 billion. This year, it is permitted to borrow $6.4 billion, though the full allocation is unlikely to be needed, Van Peteghem said.
AfDB shareholders approved the tripling of the lender’s capital base to almost $100 billion in May last year. The move enables the bank to lend about $5.4 billion a year and its associated development funds to disburse more than $2 billion, Charles Boamah, the bank’s vice president of finance, said in an interview.
The bank and its funds approved loans totaling $6.2 billion last year, with 71 percent going toward transport and energy projects. Lending spiked to $12.6 billion in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.
“Lending is trending back to normal now,” Boamah said.
The AfDB, one of five major multilateral development lenders in the world, has 53 member countries from Africa and 24 from outside the continent, including the U.S., the European Union and Japan.
The bank is reassessing its lending practices in the wake of a series of revolts in North Africa and the Middle East, with the aim of ensuring more people benefit, its president, Donald Kaberuka, told the annual general meeting.
--Editors: Philip Sanders, Gordon Bell
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