Egypt issues Japanese Yen-dominated bonds worth $500 mln to address financial challenges

Doaa A.Moneim , Thursday 24 Mar 2022

Egypt issued on Thursday Japanese Yen*-dominated bonds with a total of $500 million, the first of their kind in Egypt and the Middle East.

Mohamed Maait
Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said the issuance is called the “Samurai bond” and is issued for the Japanese market.

The Samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by non-Japanese firms and is run under Japanese regulations.

These kinds of bonds allow the issuer to access Japanese capital, which can be tapped for domestic investments or for financing operations outside Japan.

It is worth noting that this bond is an instrument to which the government can resort to support their economies against foreign currency exchange risks, which is an ongoing threat to emerging markets amid the inflationary pressure imposed by the pandemic and aggravated by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Maait said that this issuance took place despite the ongoing challenges with an insurance guarantee secured from the Bank of Japan and covered by Sumitomo Mitsui, a Japanese state-run insurance company, and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance.

The bond maturity is five years with an average cost representing 2.33 percent annual issuance, according to the minister.

He also noted that the proceeds of this issuance are part of the finance ministry’s plan to diversify the debt instruments as well as the currencies, issuance market and investors.

It also aims to prolong Egypt’s debt maturity, reducing the external debt and finance costs.

In February, Egypt's annual headline inflation jumped to 10 percent, up from 8 percent in February, the highest in three years.

On Monday the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) raised the key interest rates by one percent (100 bps) to curb the inflationary pressure impact on the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian pound plunged on Monday to its lowest value in nearly five years against the US dollar, trading at EGP 18.1 for buying and EGP 18.2 for selling by closing time at banks that day, down from a long-running EGP 15.6 and EGP 15.7, of buying and selling, respectively.

On Tuesday, Egypt officially requested the help of IMF to design a programme enables the authorities to continue the implementation of the economic reform programme and to address the challenges imposed by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

According to the CBE’s latest announced figures, Egypts external debt declined slightly in the first quarter of current FY2021/22 (July-September) to $137.4 billion, down from $137.8 billion.

* 1.00 US Dollar = 122.32 Japanese Yen

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