Ivory Coast to issue first Eurobond

By Kingsley Kobo, Sunday, May 04, 2014

This will provide a major alternative for financing the country’s ambitious $22-billion National Development Plan

This will provide a major alternative for financing the country’s ambitious $22-billion National Development Plan

ABIDJAN – Ivory Coast will be issuing its first ever Eurobond, estimated at $500 million, next July."

"This is an event for us because it is actually our first bond issue to international investors," Finance Minister Kaba Nialé said in a statement issued on Saturday in Abidjan.

"In addition, the country will develop an international rating with renowned agencies," she said.

Borrowing money from offshore markets will provide a major alternative for financing the country’s ambitious $22-billion National Development Plan (PND), according to the minister.

"The PND aims to turn Ivory Coast into an emerging nation by the year 2020," said Minister Nialé.

Endorsed by the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the PND seeks to improve the country's infrastructure and building more, including a $1.4-billion commuter train in the commercial capital of Abidjan.

Foreign partners had promised more than $8 billion to finance the PND when it was launched in Paris, France, in December 2012.

In June 2012, Ivory Coast obtained an IMF and WB debt relief of more than $4 billion under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

However, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has warned the country’s authorities to henceforth borrow wisely in order to sustain its combined growth of 25 percent since end of the 2011 post-election crisis that claimed 3000 lives.

The world’s top cocoa grower had mainly issued local currency-denominated bonds in the domestic market and in the eight-nation West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) zone.

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