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Egypt: International Bonds Worth Up to $7 Bln in 2019-20

Egypt: International Bonds Worth Up to $7 Bln in 2019-20

Monday, 9 September, 2019 - 11:15
File Photo: Wads of euro banknotes are stacked in a pile at the GSA Austria (Money Service Austria) company's headquarters in Vienna July 22, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Egypt intends to issue international bonds worth $3 billion- $7 billion in the 2019-2020 financial year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Monday.

Egypt is also seeks to diversify the currencies in which it issues its bonds to ensure hedging within the portfolio, Maait said during an economic conference in Cairo, Reuters reported.

The country has borrowed heavily from abroad since a $12 billion package was agreed. It faces a tough repayment schedule and a rising bill for oil imports.

Issuing sukuk, green bonds, yen or yuan bonds could allow Egypt to attract a new type of investor as a three-year IMF-backed economic reform programme agreed in late 2016 draws to a close.

According to Maait, Egypt’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product is on a downward trend and should drop to 77.5% by the end of June 2022.

"We would love to go for yuan and yen," Maait told Reuters in a separate interview on the sidelines of the Euromoney Egypt investment conference.

"We tried last year, but there are a lot of requirements. We couldn't get all the requirements done. If we can do it this year, we would love to see Egypt going to these markets," he added.

The ministry is also looking at issuing green bonds and sukuk, Islamic bonds, but is not committing to a specific type of bond issuance, Maait noted.

"We are targetting something between 3 (billion dollars) as a minimum and 7 as a maximum," he said.

Last year, the ministry issued more than $6 billion in international bonds.

"We may do the same this year - or lower than that or higher than that - but within this boundary," Maait said, without giving more details.

According to Reuters, he declined to give details on when any issuance would take place nor which markets would be targeted.

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