Egypt issues $4bn in foreign currency bonds

The ministry said they issued five, ten and thirty year bonds. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2019

Egypt issues $4bn in foreign currency bonds

  • Ministry says the profits will be added to state budget

CAIRO: Egypt has issued $4 billion in dollar denominated bonds with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale that was five times oversubscribed, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday.

The issue included $750 million in five-year bonds with a return of 6.2 percent, $1.75 billion in 10-year bonds with a return of 7.6 percent and 1.5 billion in 30-year bonds, with a return of 8.7 percent, the ministry said.

The issue attracted $21.5 billion in bids, the ministry said. The money raised will be used to finance the state budget, said Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk.

Most bids were for longer maturity 10- and 30-year bonds, Kouchouk told Reuters, adding that he considered the yield on the bonds “very good” for Egypt, in line or lower than prevailing yields.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said Egypt will return to the international bond market before the end of the fiscal year in June to issue bonds in a currency other than the dollar.

Egypt struggled through years of political and economic turmoil after its 2011 uprising. It has borrowed heavily from abroad since it began an economic reform program backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late 2016.

Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage, estimated that as much as $13 billion in Egypt’s principal commitments for the 2019 calendar year are likely to be rolled over. The newly sold $4 billion in dollar-denominated bonds along with another $2-3 billion in non-dollar foreign currencies planned over the coming few months should be enough to cover the rest, he said.

“This year, total external debt dues amount to about $17 billion, is what we hear,” Sandeep said. “For the rest, the issuance would provide a good cushion, making sure the reserve base remains stable, at the least.”


World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

Updated 22 November 2019

World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

  • Ian Bremmer: When I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society
  • Bremmer: They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue

BEIJING: The world should back Saudi Arabia’s transformation strategy under Vision 2030 despite the challenges the Kingdom has faced, according to Ian Bremmer, one of the leading political risk advisers in the world.

“When I see them moving toward Saudization, when I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society. I think that’s really important and we should all be rooting for that process to continue,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing.

He said that the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom were helping it rebuild its international reputation following criticism over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. “They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue.”

“It would be nice if there could be some reduction in the problem with Qatar, and some reintegration of the GCC, and there has been some progress toward that. The fact that we have a peace deal in south Yemen, that will make a difference too, and hopefully it will reduce some of the tension with Iran as a consequence,” he added.

Bremmer was speaking about climate change and other issues at the forum, at a session that acknowledged the difficulty of meeting targets to get rid of fossil fuels by the year 2050. He also talked about the looming “technology wars” between China and the US.