(Updates sourcing, adds context)
April 28 (Reuters) – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has raised 100 million euros ($121 million) from a two-year digital bond issue, a spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday.
The two-year bond, registered in the public Ethereum blockchain network, priced at 12 basis points below the mid-swaps level, the spokesperson said, equivalent to a yield of around -0.60%, according to Reuters calculations.
News of the deal sent the world’s second largest cryptocurrency ether, which facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain, to a record high earlier on Wednesday.
The bonds were priced on Tuesday, according to a lead manager memo seen by Reuters.
Many players in capital markets see blockchain, originally created to run the bitcoin cryptocurrency, as a way to streamline the issuance of securities like bonds and equities.
The traditional process is expensive and inefficient, involving numerous steps and multiple parties, and proponents say using blockchain technology could cut costs and boost transparency when raising capital.
But despite growing capital markets interest, such issuance is far from mainstream, with issuers borrowing very small amounts relative to what they raise from traditional bond sales.
The EIB, for example, would usually raise three to five billion euros from a euro-denominated benchmark bond, 30 to 50 times more than from the blockchain issuance.
The World Bank issued the first public bond created and managed using only blockchain in 2018, raising A$100 million.
Societe Generale and Santander, together with Goldman Sachs Inc, managed the EIB’s bond sale, according to the lead manager memo.
The two European banks have used blockchain for issuing debt in the past, but for bonds sales purchased internally.
$1 = 0.8288 euros Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Additional reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Giles Elgood and Mark Potter
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