Cash-strapped Egypt is planning to tap the Eurobond market in April with a $1.5bn issue to help plug a 2014-15 budget deficit of around E£240bn ($33bn), or 10 % of GDP. Finance Minister Hany Dimian says the issue will test the market for future borrowing, given that Egypt has been absent from the debt market since the January 2011 overthrow of Husni Mubarak.

The dollar-denominated issue will likely be split into two tranches – one for 10 years and the second for a longer period finance ministry official Hanan Salim told Reuters. “This will be Egypt’s reentry to the international capital markets after a gap of four years now,” she said, adding that Egypt was considering issuing sukuk (Islamic bonds), but that would require regulatory legislation. Egypt has in recent years relied on the domestic market to finance its deficit. (CONTINUED - 380 WORDS)