THE state-owned Land Bank has raised R837m via the JSE, indicating growing confidence in its progress as a development finance institution.

Lebogang Serithi, chief financial officer, said the investment was raised on Thursday after the bank tapped a three-year floating under its R10bn domestic medium-term note programme, which was registered on the JSE's bond exchange in October 2010.

High investor demand raised more than 1,67 times the intended volume of R500m.

"It has achieved significant strides with its turnaround strategy, hence investors are in support of the direction that the Land Bank is taking," Mr Serithi said.

Rand Merchant Bank, IDG Financial Services, Absa Capital and Vunani Capital acted as co-arrangers on both issuances.

Greg van Wyk, chief strategy officer at the Land Bank, said the developments were positive following a R1bn funding agreement with the African Development Bank that was announced on Tuesday, which South African farmers will be able to access.

The facility is the first significant international funding for the Land Bank since the Treasury intervened in 2009 to save the institution from possible collapse after a period of mismanagement.

Considering the ever-increasing demand for finance in agriculture, Mr van Wyk said there was a need not only to look for local sources of finance, but also to explore external sources.

"A diversified borrowing portfolio allows us to reasonably anticipate our borrowing spread to tighten, and this augurs well for the bank's financial-year target to gain 35% market share of agricultural finance," he said.

radebeh@bdfm.co.za