Egypt to tour Asian, European markets to prepare for global bond issue – finance minister


Egyptian officials plan to launch Asian and European tours starting in the week after next to market international bonds, which will be offered when the time is right, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Tuesday.

Egypt plans to issue Eurobonds worth about $5 billion in the coming months.

“The week after next, we will start promotional tours in the Asian markets, then Europe in preparation for issuing Eurobonds bonds,” Maait said at a business event in Cairo.

Egypt raised $2.46 billion this week from the sale of 8-year and 12-year Eurobonds at 4.75 and 5.625 percent, respectively.

As part of an effort to narrow the budget deficit and strengthen the dollar holdings, Egypt raised $4 billion in a dollar-denominated Eurobond sale in February.

Maait also said at the event that an official IMF delegation was due in Cairo in the second half of October and that the result of its compliance review with its 2016 reforms programme would be announced in December.

Egypt has implemented tough reforms under a $12 billion loan programme agreed in late 2016 that involved deep cuts to energy subsidies, new taxes, and a floated currency in a bid to draw back investors who fled after its 2011 uprising.

Maait also said that the government was working on economic restructuring plans that aim to reduce public debt to 70 percent within four years.

Egypt’s foreign debt rose to $92.64 billion at the close of the financial year in June, up from $88.2 billion at end-March, making up 37.2 percent of the country’s GDP at the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Egypt cancelled four consecutive T-bond auctions after bankers and investors demanded high yields on the debt.

“When interest rates rise … we have other means to manage liquidity and are able to manage our affairs,” Maait said in reference to the cancellation.

Maait also said that Cairo was ready to implement an oil hedging policy but wants to wait until the market cools off.

CAIRO (Reuters)

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