Ivory Coast Said to Plan $1 Billion Eurobond Sale by End of July

ABIDJAN (Capital Markets in Africa) – Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans.

The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made.

The West African nation is yet to decide which banks will be hired as financial advisers and a roadshow will be held in London and the U.S., according to the people. Ivory Coast sold $1 billion of debt in 2015 and $750 million in 2014.

Government spokesman Bruno Kone said by phone that Ivory Coast plans to sell Eurobonds this year but that he couldn’t confirm the details. The bond sale “is in our interest given the economic climate,” he said, without elaborating further.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara was forced to reduce this year’s budget after a slump in prices for the nation’s biggest cash crop, cocoa. While lower cocoa prices are weighing on income, expenses have soared as the government has tried to defuse social unrest by agreeing to pay bonuses and arrears to soldiers and civil servants earlier this year.

Source: Bloomberg Business News

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