Jordan to issue $1.5 bln U.S. backed bonds

Finance Minister Umayya Toukan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony where Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour was present. (File photo: Reuters)

Jordan has signed an agreement with Washington to raise $1.5 billion in the second half of June through the sale of U.S.-backed bonds that will allow the kingdom to access global debt markets at cheap rates, the country's finance minister said on Sunday.

Finance Minister Umayya Toukan said the kingdom would also tap markets in the final quarter of 2015 to raise another $500 million, without U.S. guarantees, to meet the kingdom's financing needs.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony where Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour was present.

The U.S.-guaranteed deal, which Jordan has been granted every year since 2013 and has so far saved $500 million, is the biggest of its kind that Washington had extended to any country, according to U.S. officials.

Washington had issued smaller ones for Tunisia and Ukraine since 2012.

President Barack Obama's administration has raised economic assistance to the kingdom in the past few years to around $1 billion annually against the backdrop of increased uncertainty in the region and to help the country cope with a rising energy bill because of disruptions of gas supplies from Egypt.

U.S. officials say the extra funding also helps Jordan to meet pressing payments such as the cost of accommodating over 600,000 Syrian refugees who fled into the kingdom since the start of the 2011 conflict.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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