Egypt completes payment of 10-year bonds

Ahram Online and Reuters, Thursday 14 Jul 2011

Egypt has completed the payment of 10-year bonds worth $1 billion, but still will have trouble ahead financing its debts

Egypt has completed the payment of 10-year bonds worth $1 billion due on 11 July, according to BNY Mellon, Egypt’s financial agent in the transaction.

A statement indicated that Egypt has completed all clearing, settlement and interest payment procedures for the 8.75 per cent bonds.

Egypt's military rulers have recently declined a $3 billion loan offer from the IMF on grounds of maintaining financial independence. However, Egypt may face trouble raising finance enough to cover its budget requirements, despite cutting its deficit to 8.6 per cent down from 11.1 per cent in the first draft.

On 4 July, Finance Minister Samir Radwan said that Egypt would cover its deficit through funds from the local market and from other Arab countries. "We plan to cover LE120 billion from the local market, and LE14 billion of the deficit we are looking for from Arab countries," he said.

Some observers fear that reluctance of foreign investors to buy Egypt’s domestic debt may lead to a surge in yields. In addition to the LE120 billion targeted to be raised from the domestic debt market, the government must pay back, or roll over, about LE380 billion in securities that mature over the next 12 months.

It will also have to roll over one or more times the shorter-term T-bills it plans to issue before the end of the fiscal year, bringing the amount of securities it needs to sell to some LE50-55 billion each month.

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