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World Bank's Romanian-lei bond is oversubscribed

The World Bank's debut local-currency bond in Romania was oversubscribed, said ABN Amro Bank Romania, the adviser to the sale. The World Bank completed the pro rata sale Sept. 12 of as much as $190 million of three-year bonds as demand from local investors exceeded the amount on offer by 21%, said Claudia Butac, head of capital markets at ABN Amro, which was also the distributor and settlement agency. „This is a real success because the volume is high for the first such leu-bond issued on the local market,” Butac said yesterday in a telephone interview. The bonds, which pay a 6.5% coupon semi-annually, will be listed for trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange in the first week of October, she said. The Romanian lei, the best performing currency both against the euro and the dollar since the beginning of this year from among 71 currencies monitored by Bloomberg, has already prompted countries such as Austria, Germany and Norway to sell lei-bonds. Romania's central bank on Sept. 1 removed all trading restrictions on the lei, turning it into a fully convertible currency to meet pledges made by the government as the country strives to join the EU as early as January. ABN Amro's Butac said local corporate and individual investors bought more than 77% of the securities, with the rest going to international investors. Romania's SSIF Intercapital Invest SA managed the sale of the bond. Romania plans to adopt the euro in 2014 at the latest. (Bloomberg)