Egypt raises $1.5 bln in first international bond sale for five years

Foreign portfolio investors left the country en masse in 2011

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The government of Egypt conducted its first international bond sale in five years on Thursday, underlining a return of economic and political stability to the country after its Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

Egypt sold $1.5 billion of 10-year bonds at a yield of 6 percent, tighter than initial pricing guidance earlier in the day of 6.25 percent. It drew more than $4.5 billion of investor orders, according to a document from lead managers.

Foreign portfolio investors left the country en masse in 2011, freezing it out of the international debt market.

But economic growth has begun to pick up and shaky state finances to strengthen since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office last year. He has overseen the launch of economic reforms and forged an alliance with rich Gulf states to obtain aid and investment.

The market price of Egypt’s outstanding dollar bond maturing in 2020 reflects this; it is trading at a yield of 4.37 percent, near a life low of 3.98 percent hit last December and down from a peak of 11.09 percent in June 2013.

Thursday’s bond sale was arranged by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Natixis.

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