Egypt plans $2b in Samurai bonds
CAIRO — Egypt plans to issue US$2 billion worth of Japanese yen- denominated bonds this week, two government sources said.
Proceeds from the issue of so-called Samurai bonds will be used to repay debts of state oil company Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC), according to the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Egypt has struggled to recover from years of turmoil after the 2011 pro-democracy uprising, and has borrowed heavily from abroad since it began an economic reform programme backed by the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) in late 2016.
It raised two billion euros in bonds in April 2018, its first issue in the single currency.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in December that Egypt was aiming for at least two foreign currency bond issues in the first quarter of 2019, without giving the size of the planned offer.
Earlier, he said Egypt was targeting $5 billion in foreign currency bonds and that the figure was subject to change.
Egyptian officials have previously said Japanese yen and Chinese yuan were two of the currencies they were considering as the country looks to sell debt in currencies other than the euro and US dollar.
Ahead of the expected bond issue, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk went to Japan last week as part of a promotional roadshow that also includes Singapore, one of the sources said.
Neither Maait nor Kouchouk responded to requests for comment.
Egypt’s foreign debt stood at $92.64 billion at the end of the financial year in June. Its borrowing requirement for the repayment of external debt is $10.51 billion in the current financial year. — REUTERS