Ivory Coast to Sell First Eurobond Since 2015, Says Minister

ABIDJAN (Capital Markets in Africa) – Ivory Coast will soon sell Eurobonds in the West African nation’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, said Finance Minister Adama Kone.

The offering will start in the “coming days,” Kone said in comments after a cabinet meeting in the commercial capital, Abidjan. He declined to comment on the sale amount or maturity of the debt.

The announcement comes as cocoa prices have fallen by more than a third after reaching a six-year high in July, denting revenue for the world’s biggest producer of the chocolate ingredient. The country’s government has tried to defuse military and social unrest by agreeing to pay bonuses to soldiers and making some concessions to civil servants who led a strike earlier this year.

An issuance will be the first since Ivory Coast sold $1 billion of debt maturing March 2028 two years ago.

Ivory Coast’s budget deficit will probably widen to 5 percent of gross domestic product this year, compared with government estimates of 3.9 percent for 2016, according to Renaissance Capital, because of tumbling cocoa prices and unscheduled payments to civil servants and mutinous soldiers in the past two months.


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