Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ethiopia's maiden bond sale draws crowds

Financial Times
Ethiopia has attracted a $1.7bn order book for its inaugural international bond sale, illustrating there is huge interest in higher yielding debt even when offered by the most impoverished nations.

The African country's first-ever bond will make it the poorest ever country to tap international markets, following Honduras, Rwanda, Congo and El Salvador, who have all taken advantage of the high interest in frontier markets' debt.

Banks on the deal - JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank - have indicated that the 10-year bond is expected to yield about 6.75 per cent. That is much higher than for other African countries such as Nigeria, Congo, Zambia or Rwanda, but compared to historical borrowing costs it is also astonishingly low.

The order book does not include many European investors, who have until noon on Thursday to register their interest. The deal is expected to be priced and issued this afternoon in London.