Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1389, (12 - 18 April 2018)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1389, (12 - 18 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Second Eurobond issue in 2018

EGYPT closed a two billion euro Eurobond sale this week, the Ministry of Finance announced on Monday, the first Eurobond issue denominated in euros. It sold two tranches of bonds, eight-year notes with a yield of 4.75 per cent and 12-year notes with a yield of 5.625 per cent.

The ministry described the issue as a success, with demand “reflecting the international community’s renewed confidence in Egypt’s reform efforts”, according to a statement. The offering was 3.8 times oversubscribed and attracted purchase orders of 7.5 billion euros from over 350 investors from 35 countries, the ministry said. 

The price of the issue, or the yield paid by the government, is better than any previous issue, the ministry said. Previous Eurobond issues offered yields that ranged between 6.125 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 8.5 per cent, depending on maturity.

Proceeds from the offering will be deposited with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves, while an equivalent amount will be used to finance the budget deficit, the statement said. The CBE’s hard currency reserves reached the unprecedented level of $42.61 billion in March. Egypt had a budget deficit of around 11 per cent of GDP in 2016-17.

This is Egypt’s second Eurobond issue this year. The first, which took place in February, brought in $4 billion. In 2017, Egypt went to the international markets twice, issuing $7 billion worth of Eurobonds.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Amr Al-Garhi led a ministry delegation on a three-day roadshow to the UK, Germany, Italy and France, where meetings were held with European and US investors.

Saudi ban on guavas lifted 

THE SAUDI Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has lifted its ban on Egyptian guava imports, though shipments will be limited to SFDA-approved exporters in Egypt, a statement noted. The move comes after the Egyptian authorities complied with Saudi food-safety regulations concerning exported goods, the statement said. 

Last year saw Saudi Arabia banning imports of Egyptian strawberries, guavas and peppers over concerns of residual pesticides on them. Other Gulf countries such as Kuwait and the UAE then followed suit. 

The Agriculture Ministry and Egypt’s Agriculture Export Council have since brought in new rules on the use of pesticides during cultivation and harvesting. The lifting of the ban on strawberry and pepper exports is expected to take place in November.

The Saudi ban on guavas was issued in February, while that on peppers came into effect in February 2017 followed by the ban on strawberries in July over concerns over pesticide residues. 

Saudi Arabia is the most important market in the Gulf for Egypt’s agricultural exports.

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