Egypt has tapped the bond market for the first time in five years. The $1.5bn issue priced at a tighter-than-expected 6% and was three-times oversubscribed.Cairo closed a $1.5bn sovereign Eurobond on 4 June. The bond, which was lead managed by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Natixis, has a tenor of 10 years. Egypt achieved a pricing of 6%, tighter than the initial pricing guidance of 6.25% mooted before the issue was put together. The tighter yield underlines the return of political and economic stability to the country after the Arab Spring uprising of early 2011 which shut out Egypt from the international debt market. The last time Egypt dipped in the international debt market was in April 2010 with the launch of a $1.5bn Eurobond.
Egypt’s growth prospects began to improve after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi took office in 2014 and the launch of economic reforms which accompanied the inflow of aid and investments from the Gulf states. In March the international business community gave the country its nod of approval at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm al-Shaikh with pledges of multi-billion dollar investments and projects, including financial assistance of $4bn each from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE. Prior to that in February the IMF said that the Egyptian economy had begun to turn the corner and recorded improved performance as a result of structural and monetary reforms (MEES, 20 March). (CONTINUED - 599 WORDS)