The African Development Bank (AfDB) has appointed MCB Investment Management (MCBIM), a subsidiary of MCB Capital Markets, as Fund Manager for its first multi-jurisdictional Fixed Income Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in Africa. The Board of Directors of the AfDB has also approved a seed equity capital investment of USD 25 million for the ADBF.
The primary objective of the African Domestic Bond ETF (ADBF) is to encourage bond issuance in local currencies by facilitating access to local fixed income markets for investors. The ETF will be invested in both government and corporate bonds, and will initially be listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
MCBIM pioneered this area in early 2013 with the launch of the MCB Africa Bond Fund, an actively managed USD denominated fund that focuses on the local currency bond markets of 13 countries in Africa. The fund has consistently outperformed its benchmark since inception and is up 9.52% in absolute terms this year.
The ADBF was conceived as part of the AfDB’s African Financial Markets Initiative in 2008. Through this initiative, the AfDB aims to strengthen African economies by reducing their dependency on foreign currency denominated debt, increase the range of available financing options and act as a catalyst for regional market integration.
Stefan Nalletamby, the AfDB’s Director for Financial Sector Development, said in developing markets, it is particularly important for the lead institutions to act to reduce financial market impediments and instill local and international investor confidence.
“AfDB is leading the establishment of the ADBF as a sovereign fixed income ETF investing in different countries which will be the first time an institution of this kind is established in Africa. AfDB is the premier development Bank for Africa and the Bank’s leadership in the establishment of ADBF is demonstrable of the Bank providing a local solution to several structural weaknesses.”
Rony Lam, Chief Executive Officer of MCB Capital Markets, on the other hand said they are privileged to have been selected by the AfDB as Fund Manager for this ground-breaking fund.
“The ADBF will pave the way for the development of local bond markets in Africa and we are proud to be associated with this important initiative. This demonstrates MCBIM’s fund management capabilities and confirms our position as one of the leading Africa fixed income specialist firms.”