Global law firm White & Case played a pivotal role in advising the guarantors in the historic issuance of RMB 3.5 billion (approximately US$500 million) worth of 3.51% three-year panda bonds by the Arab Republic of Egypt. These bonds were unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In a landmark move, the Bank of China took the lead as the underwriter and bookrunner, with HSBC serving as the joint lead underwriter and joint bookrunner for this groundbreaking issuance. This landmark event ushered in several notable achievements, including the first-ever African panda bond issuance, the debut sustainable development sovereign panda bond issuance, the premier guaranteed sovereign panda bond issuance, the initial bond issuance jointly guaranteed by two multilateral development institutions within the Chinese bond market, the inauguration of a panda bond issuance guaranteed by AfDB, and the initiation of a bond issuance guaranteed by AIIB.
The significance of these bonds goes beyond financial markets, as they are closely aligned with Egypt’s Sovereign Sustainable Financing Framework. The funds raised from the issuance will play a crucial role in supporting Egypt’s strategic efforts in the realm of sustainable development. This support will span various initiatives, including projects in transportation, renewable energy, sustainable water and sanitation management, affordable housing, and the development of digital infrastructure—key priorities under the framework.
Moreover, the issuance of these panda bonds signifies a new avenue for fostering collaboration between Egypt and China. It not only encourages the expanded utilization of RMB in Egypt but also opens doors to fresh opportunities for achieving sustainable development goals through cooperative ventures.
The White & Case legal team involved in facilitating this milestone transaction was jointly led by partner David Li (pictured left), based in Beijing, and local partner Xuan Jin (pictured right), headquartered in Hong Kong. Their collaborative efforts were complemented by the contributions of associates Hilda Leung, located in Hong Kong, and Stephanie Zhao, operating from Singapore.