The Biggest Monetary Transformation Since WWII

In one of the most closely followed bond issues in recent history, overnight the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of the five member-institutions of the World Bank Group, sold 500 million SDR-denominated three-year bonds carrying a coupon of 0.49% at an auction in China’s interbank market on Wednesday. This was the first SDR denominated offering in over three decades, with the issuance symbolically taking place in Shanghai one month before the official inclusion of China’s currency in the SDR basket.

The issue, the first SDR bond in 35 years, is being closely watched by investors as it’s part of a wider push in China to increase the net supply of such bonds, and comes as Beijing hosts the G20 summit in Hangzhou on Sept. 4-5. The SDR is a synthetic reserve currency administered by the IMF, whose value is determined by a basket of other major world currencies.

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