Standard Bank selection as the joint lead manager in the $1bn bond issue launched by state logistics company Transnet showed that local banks had come of age and could now compete with global peers who had previously enjoyed a large piece of such transactions, the bank said.

The 10-year bond issue for Transnet was issued and listed in London on Thursday last week.

According to a report by Business Day, the bond issued at an interest rate of 4 percent, was also the lowest dollar bond coupon by a South African issuer, and was the first offshore issuance Standard had executed for Transnet.

However, South Africa’s Reserve Bank downgraded gross domestic product growth to 2.7 percent from 2.9 percent, while Absa CEO Maria Ramos said on Friday she expected growth of 2.6% from last year’s 3.1%.

Andrew Costa, Standard’s head of debt capital markets, said the success of the bond issue showed that offshore investors seeking better yields were positive about SA’s medium-term outlook, particularly as uncertainty lingered in the global economy.

He added that the deal was a “landmark” for Standard because the large global banking groups have typically been chosen over South African banks for major offshore transactions.


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