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Ivory Coast launches first pandemic-era Eurobond in sub-Saharan Africa

11/24/2020 | 04:01am EST

LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has launched the first sub-Saharan Africa pandemic-era Eurobond sale on Tuesday as developing issuers dive into global capital markets to benefit from this year's plunge in interest rates during the coronavirus crisis.

Initial pricing for the west African country's euro-denominated bond maturing in 2032 stood at 5.5%, according to a lead banker. The sale of the benchmark-sized bond is expected to be finalized later in the day.

In a statement on Monday, the finance ministry said it planned to issue new bonds as well as tender $825 million of outstanding ones and has mandated BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Securities and Standard Chartered Bank for the transaction.

Sub-Saharan Africa has seen no debt sales since Ghana and Gabon sold debt earlier in the year, before the coronavirus pandemic ripped through global markets, while Zambia became the region's first sovereign default earlier this month.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker in London; Editing by Tom Arnold)

© Reuters 2020
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