Egypt's finance ministry names 4 banks to issue $3 bln eurobonds

Ahram Online , Thursday 18 Aug 2016

Finance Ministry
Egyptian Finance Ministry (File photo: Al-Ahram)

Four international investment banks were selected by Egypt to issue 3 billion dollar-denominated eurobonds in the global bond market, the finance ministry announced on Thursday.

In a statement on its website, the Egyptian ministry said the four banks include the French bank Natixis, Citibank, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas.

The United States-founded global law firm Dechert was also named as the legal consultant on the issuance, a separate finance ministry statement said last week.

In early August, Egypt's cabinet approved plans for an international bond issuance of between $3 billion and $5 billion.

Egypt has searched for a variety of funding sources, from development loans to foreign grants and aid, to plug its financing needs as it contends with an acute dollar shortage that has hampered its ability to purchase from abroad.

In June, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said that "We are studying a bond issuance of $3 billion on the international market between September and October of this year in order to fill part of the budget's financing gap, which is expected to reach $10 billion."

Egypt raised $1.5 billion of eurobonds in June 2015 after a five-year halt. The issuance was part of Egypt's approved bond-issuance programme of up to $10 billion that was announced by the then finance minister Hany Kadry Dimian.

Egypt and the IMF reached last week a staff-level agreement on a $12 billion fund facility over three years that is expected to be approved by the fund's executive board in the coming weeks.

Since the 2011 revolution, Egypt saw its foreign reserves more than halve to reach $15.5 billion in July and has been suffering from a turbulent economy and political turmoil, scaring off investors and tourists.

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