Tunisia Launches $500mn Bond

Tunisia has issued a $500mn five-year Eurobond guaranteed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in order to plug the budget deficit and finance development projects, the Central Bank of Tunisia announced on 4 August.

The loan, which was several times oversubscribed, secured a favorably low yield of 1.416% per annum thanks to the US guarantee. This is the fifth time that Tunisia has tapped the international debt market since the ouster of former dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. Tunisia, the first country to usher in the ‘Arab Spring’, is struggling to cope with lower tourism revenue after several Islamic militant attacks in 2015, high youth unemployment (of 35%) and falling hydrocarbons output. With the expected fruits of the revolution failing to materialize five years after its start, public discontent is becoming more common. (CONTINUED - 408 WORDS)