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21 January 2020
MARKETS

Egypt plans to issue green bond to tap fresh investments

The move, announced by Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk, is part of the government’s broader push cut debt-servicing costs by varying its offerings

The government expects economic growth to come in at 5.8 per cent-5.9 per cent by the end of June 2020/Bloomberg

by Bloomberg

Egypt plans to issue green bonds by the end of the current fiscal year, as the Arab world’s most populous nation that is an emerging-market darling look to diversify its debt offerings and draw in new foreign funds.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said the plan was still being discussed and that the issuance may be denominated in US dollars or euros.

Cost-cutting is a key part of Egypt’s broader economic programme, which was kick-started in late 2016 with the devaluation of the currency in a bid to end a crippling dollar shortage. The moves helped secure a three-year, $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan and shore up investor confidence but have yet to attract the sorely needed private sector growth the government is now focused on.

Much of the foreign money that was secured over the past three years has been in the form of loans or investments in the debt market. Maait said that foreign holdings of Egyptian Treasury bills and bonds climbed to $22 billion by the end of 2019, an inflow built around some of the most attractive yields in emerging markets.

The government expects economic growth to come in at 5.8 per cent-5.9 per cent by the end of June 2020, added Maait. Officials had earlier projected a six per cent GDP growth. At the same time, the budget deficit widened slightly to 3.8 per cent of GDP in the first half of the current fiscal year compared to 3.6 per cent in the same period a year earlier.


RELATED STORIES: Egypt US dollars emerging-market green bonds International Monetary Fund

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