New dollar bond set for next year

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Rwanda is planning to offer longer-dated local debt bond and may sell its second Eurobond as early as next year as the economy is set to grow faster than the regional average.

The dollar debt sale “won’t be this year,” Finance Minister Claver Gatete said in an interview in London yesterday. “We believe it can be 2015.” The government is deciding whether to make the maturity on next month’s Rwandan-franc issuance seven years, the longest yet, he said.

Rwanda is transforming its debt market with more sales of local securities after the debut $400 million international bond last year. The Eurobond due May 2023 returned 11 percent this year, compared with the 9.5 percent average among 57 emerging markets tracked by market indexes.

President Paul Kagame said in August the country may sell as much as $1 billion in its second international offer. Gatete said they are still working on details and declined to comment on the amount or what the proceeds would be used for.

Rwanda may issue debt with maturities as long as 20 years, he said. Gross domestic product will probably grow more than 6 percent this year and exceed 7 percent in 2015, he said. The International Monetary Fund projects sub-Saharan Africa growth of 5.1 percent this year and 5.8 percent in 2015.

Relations with foreign donors, who pulled aid from Rwanda over concern that the country was supporting rebels in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, “are now completely repaired,” Gatete said. “There are no problems with the donors.” The Rwandan government has denied claims it backed fighters in Congo.

Yields on Rwanda’s dollar bond rose one basis point to 6.61 percent by 6:18 p.m. yesterday in Kigali. The country is rated B+ at Fitch Ratings Ltd. and B at Standard & Poor’s. Gatete said the coffee-producing nation is targeting BB, putting it on par with Croatia and Guatemala.

 

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Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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