Tunisia to start roadshow for €1bn Eurobond
26 Jan 2017 - 21:24
Tunis: Tunisia will start a roadshow for a Eurobond worth €1bn on February 5, and expects to go to capital markets twice more this year with bonds worth up to another €2bn, a government source said yesterday.
The North African state’s renewed entry into the financial markets comes as the government tries to enact much-needed economic reforms demanded by international lenders to help curb public spending after the economy was hit hard by Islamist militant attacks on its tourism industry in 2015.
Tunisia had announced in late November plans to issue a Eurobond worth €1bn as it seeks funding to cover its budget deficit. The government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media, said the first Eurobond would be priced on February 15 with a rate of 5-6 percent.
“We are very likely to go to the markets twice again this year to issue more bonds worth €2bn. But we have not decided whether they will be denominated in dollars or euros,” said the source. The first Eurobond had originally been planned earlier, but was delayed when Tunisia in August secured US government loan guarantees for a $500m bond instead. That was the country’s most recent entry into capital markets.
Prior to that, Tunisia went to the market in 2015 with a $1 billion dollar-denominated bond that met with high demand.
Since its 2011 uprising, Tunisia has been backed by international partners and multilateral lenders keen to see its democratic transition succeed.
The International Monetary Fund last year reached a tentative deal to assist Tunisia with a four-year loan programme worth about $2.8 billion, tied to economic reforms.
Despite political progress since its uprising ousted Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and ushered in free elections, economic reforms to address joblessness, social tensions and high public spending have lagged Tunisia’s political progress.