Egypt to start selling $912m bonds next week

The Egyptian Government's New Urban Communities Authority will begin selling bonds worth E£5 billion ($912 million, Dh3.3bn) next week, a Finance Ministry official said yesterday.

The offering will be the first since Egypt changed its laws in December to allow utilities and other quasi-government organisations issue bonds directly, a move designed to expand the country's debt market.

The sale will be open for about 10 days after the official announcement is published, said Mohamed Assaad, public debt advisor to the finance minister."It should be published in the newspaper on Sunday or by Monday at the latest," Assaad said.

Egypt said on Friday it also planned to tap the Eurobond market for $1-1.5bn within weeks, its first such issue since 2007.

The New Urban Communities bonds will be issued in two tranches, with the first of E£2.5bn maturing in 13 months and a second issue of E£2.5bn maturing in five years. They have not yet been priced, Assaad said.

Lead managers are Egypt's Commercial International Bank and HSBC Egypt, a subsidiary of HSBC.

By allowing state utilities to issue bonds, the government hopes it will be easier for it to finance infrastructure and other projects.

The New Urban Communities Authority is responsible for developing satellite cities, mainly around Cairo.

In May, the authority securitised E£4.65bn of instalments for land it had sold, with the notes maturing in 2017.


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